Adam Phillips scored in his third consecutive Merseyside derby as Liverpool thrashed Everton 4-0 in the U18 Premier League play-offs at Finch Farm on Saturday morning.
The attacking midfielder opened the scoring for Neil Critchley’s side in the 33rd minute, before Herbie Kane scored his second in two games with a pinpoint free-kick in the 47th minute. Ben Woodburn chased down a lost cause but made it 3-0 midway through the second half before captain Trent Alexander-Arnold sealed all three points from the penalty spot.
Despite the scoreline, it was the hosts Everton who had the first chance of the game. Delial Brewster rounded the onrushing Caoimhin Kelleher but Corey Whelan raced back to clear his effort off the line.
Liverpool grew into the game, with in-form Toni Gomes going close to scoring his 15th goal of the season, but his shot was deflected over the crossbar by Ryan Harrington.
The striker made amends moments later, setting up Phillips for the opener. After being played in by Alexander-Arnold, the Portuguese youngster threaded the ball through to Phillips, who took a touch before slotting home his seventh goal of the season
The young Reds then doubled their advantage just two minutes after the restart, with England midfielder Kane placing a 20-yard free-kick into the top corner.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Liverpool though as Irish goalkeeper Kelleher did superbly to deny Nathan Broadhead’s effort which looked destined for the top corner.
The Toffees were left to rue that chance, as Liverpool made it 3-0 in the 70th minute. Woodburn chased a long ball forward which looked comfotable for the Everton defence, but the Wales U17 captain pounced a wonderfully finished to score his 12th goal of the season.
Critchley’s side made sure of the result seven minutes from time when Adam Phillips was brought down by Josef Yarney inside the penalty area, and Alexander-Arnold fired it underneath the goalkeeper to seal the result.
The win moves Liverpool up to third in the play-off places, four points off the leaders Chelsea. However, the Reds have a game in hand and will be looking to close the gap when they host second-placed Manchester City on 16 April, who have a 100% record in the final stage.
Liverpool XI: Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Parker, Whelan, Lewis; Coyle, Kane; Ejaria, Phillips, Woodburn; Gomes (Lennon 72′).