By Scott Taylor
Jerome Sinclair scored his 12th goal in all competitions this season as Liverpool U21s comfortably beat Leicester 2-0 at the King Power Stadium on Monday evening.
Lloyd Jones opened the scoring from a corner for Michael Beale’s side in the 68th minute, his first goal for the Reds at U21s level.
Sinclair, who has been heavily linked with a move away from the club, then sealed the result with a fine individual goal seven minutes from time to seal the three points for Liverpool.
Head Coach Beale made four changes from the 5-0 defeat against Southampton, with Kevin Stewart making his return to action after two months out with an ankle injury.
Blackpool loanee Jones, winger Sheyi Ojo, and striker Sinclair also returned to the side for the game at 10th placed Leicester.
After a tame start to the game, Liverpool created the first chance of the game in the 22nd minute, when Ojo, who is on the fringes of the first team, set up Sinclair, but he couldn’t convert from inside the six-yard box.
Almost immediately Leicester went inches away from opening the scoring, but Ryan Kent cleared Elliot Moore’s header off the line from a corner.
Kent then made an impact at the other end of the pitch shortly after, when he played in Sinclair, but the Liverpool striker was denied by Denmark U19 goalkeeper Daniel Iversen.
Former Wolves winger Ojo had two more opportunities to break the deadlock for the visitors, but again the Reds could not take their chances as the half ended goalless.
By SaviLFC (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Beale made a double change in the 63rd minute when Ryan McLaughlin and Alex O’Hanlon replaced Stewart and Pedro Chirivella, and five minutes later, Liverpool were ahead.
O’Hanlon’s corner evaded everyone in the box and found Jones at the back post, and the injury-stricken striker slotted home for his first goal of the season.
Jones then turned provider for Liverpool’s second goal of the game. The defender won possession inside the Reds’ half before releasing Kent to run at the Leicester defence.
The England U20 youngster released Sinclair who dribbled past a few Leicester defenders before firing into the near corner to seal the win for Liverpool.
The Reds moved up to seventh in the U21 Premier League and with the win they guarantee their league saftety. Despite this, a win over Manchester City on 14 April could see Liverpool rise as high as fourth in the table.
Liverpool XI: Bogdan; Randall, Ilori, Jones, Maguire; Stewart (McLaughlin 63′), Chirivella (O’Hanlon 63′); Kent (Gomes 89′), Brannagan, Ojo; Sinclair.