By Scott Taylor
Yan Dhanda scored his seventh goal of the season in all competitions as Liverpool U18s fought back from 1-0 down to draw 1-1 against Manchester City at the Kirkby Academy. Paolo Fernandes gave the visitors the lead in the 12th minute, but the Dhanda responded for the Reds 16 minutes later to secure a point against the league leaders. The result means that Neil Critchley’s side have now gone eight games unbeaten in all competitions.
After an sluggsih start from Liverpool, it was Jason Wilcox’s Manchester City who took the lead when Sadou Diallo’s through ball found Fernandes, who fired beyond Shamal George. Shortly after, the game was level. Dhanda, who scored in Liverpool’s 3-2 win at West Brom in their last game, made it two from two as his 30-yard free-kick flew into the net to give the Reds an equaliser.
Liverpool were fortunate that Fernandes couldn’t take his chances in the first half, with the City man missing two opportunities to put the visitors back in front. Both sides had chances to win it, but neither could convert as the points are shared on Halloween.
More positive news is that summer signing Bobby Adekanye made his long-awaited debut after his work permit issues were dealt with. After the game, Critchley expressed his delight at eventually getting him in the side, and hinted that he could play a big part in the U18s going forward. He told liverpoolfc.com: “It was great for Bobby to finally make his debut. He is a talented young player and he and Toni Gomes are pushing hard for a start.It was a really good game and it could have gone either way.”
Critchley was understanding with his players’ start to the game and singled-out praise for his goalscorer. He said: “We started off a bit rusty because we haven’t played for two weeks, but once we found our feet we did well against a very good City side and it was a very open and attacking game. It was a terrific free-kick from Yan who showed outstanding execution. When we get a free-kick in a dangerous area you always feel as though Yan or Adam Phillips are at least going to work the goalkeeper.”
Liverpool U18s look to make it nine games unbeaten when they face Wolves at the Kirby Academy on Tuesady morning.
Liverpool XI: George; Lewis, Whelan, Masterson, Johnston; Phillips, Arnold; Ejaria, Alves (Adekanye), Dhanda (Kane); Woodburn (Toni Gomes).
Man City XI: Albinson; Bullock, Latibeaudier, Blackshaw, Coveney (Kigbu 81′); Davenport, Fernandes; Buckley, Diaz, Diallo (Dele-Bashiru 70′); Dilrosun (Patching 70′).
By Scott Taylor