By Scott Taylor

Toni Gomes scored his ninth goal of the season in all competitions but Liverpool U18s suffered a 2-1 defeat at Sunderland on Friday morning. Liverpool did have chances to win the game, with captain Trent Alexander-Arnold hitting the crossbar. But a direct free-kick in the 75th minute and a mix up between Shamal George and his defence gifted the Black Cats victory at the death.

Liverpool rested players such as Yan Dhanda and Herbie Kane who were left on the bench, and rested Ben Woodburn, who was not even in the squad. The result means that Neil Critchley’s side stay in second place, just one point behind Manchester City, but the Reds have played a game more. They may even be in danger of dropping to third, as Everton sit just two points behind Liverpool, with two games in hand.

After the game, Liverpool U18s manager Neil Critchley was disappointed with the result, and thought his side did enough to earn at least a draw. He told “To lose in the last minute of a game is always so hard to take. We actually played well in the game and we had some good chances. Sunderland were always dangerous on the break and to be fair [their equaliser] was a fine effort, but I felt the award of the decision was very harsh. Their winning goal was tough to take. Hopefully the lads can now get back on track when we play Cardiff in the FA Youth Cup fourth round at Tranmere Rovers on Wednesday night.”

Liverpool U18s: George; Lewis, Masterson, Parker, Johnston; Brimmer (Kane 55), Alexander-Arnold; Nicholas (Dhanda 68), Alves (Owens 82), Ejaria; Gomes.