By Scott Taylor
Liverpool U18s saw their U18 Premier League title hopes dashed as they suffered a 2-0 defeat to Wolves at Compton earlier today. Neil Critchley’s side currently lie in second in the league table, two points ahead of Merseyside rivals Everton, with 40 points from 20 games. However, a brace from Wolves starlet Daniel Armstrong secured the win for the in-form side as the Reds are now four points adrift on Manchester City at the top of the Premier League with one game to play.
Liverpool midfielder Harvery Whyte made his first start of the season after coming back from injury, whilst Ben Woodburn and Conor Masterson were both rested. Despite this, the Reds still had a strong side on paper, with the likes of Yan Dhanda and Toni Gomes starting up front, and Jake Brimmer in the midfield.
Wolves currently sat 15 points behind their opponents prior to kick-off, but after losing just twice in their last 13 games, the home side were arguably a team full of confidence. That reflected on the start of the game as Joe Delacoe went close within the first opening 30 minutes, as Liverpool struggled to gain a foothold in the game. Critchley’s side were also without central defender Corey Whelan, who went picked up an ankle injury in their FA Youth Cup victory on Wednesday, and is expected to be out for 6-8 weeks. Despite his loss, Liverpool managed to defend well in the opening 45 minutes.
However, just two minutes after the restart, Wolves took the lead after a good finish from Armstrong. The youngster, who signed for Jerry Gill’s side from SPL side Hamilton on a three-year deal back in October, then got his and Wolves’ second 18 minutes later to put the game beyond doubt. The defeat is the Reds’ third loss away from home in four games, after previously going on an 14-game unbeaten run. It is also the first time since 3 November in which Liverpool have failed to score a goal, that too coming against Wolves in a 0-0 draw.
Critchley’s side next turn their attention to the FA Youth Cup when they travel to Nottingham Forest in the fifth round on Thursday 4 February.
Liverpool XI: Kelleher; Lewis, Parker, Johnston, Owens; Whyte (Kane 60′), Brimmer (Alves 60′), Alexander-Arnold; Dhanda, Gomes, Nicholas.