By Scott Taylor
Ben Woodburn netted his third goal in two games as Liverpool U23s secured back-to-back wins with a 4-0 demolition of Leicester at Prenton Park on Sunday afternoon. Danny Ings opened the scoring for the hosts in the third minute before winger Woodburn doubled the Reds’ lead 14 minutes later before his Welsh compatriot Wilson made it 3-0 moments later. Michael Beale’s side went further ahead in the 34th minute, when Ovie Ejaria’s diving header made it 4-0 as Liverpool impressed under the watchful eyes of first-team manager Jurgen Klopp.The Reds named a strong starting line-up, with Ings, Tiago Ilori and Kevin Stewart, fresh from his cameo for the first-team 24 hours previous, named alongside former U18 youngsters Woodburn, Ejaria and Alexander-Arnold.
The mix of youth and experience combined in just the third minute, when Woodburn cut inside of Leicester full-back Josh Knight and his effort deflected off Foxes goalkeeper Dan Iversen and into the path of Ings, who tapped in from inside the six-yard box.
Ings and captain Wilson both had further chances to extend the lead, with the former Burnley striker going close with an acrobatic effort, but Woodburn netted Liverpool’s second in the 17th minute.
Ejaria passed it to Alexander-Arnold on the right wing, and the full-back fizzed a low cross across the face of goal where Woodburn slid home to poke in a second.
Three minutes later, Liverpool’s dominance continued when they went further in front, courtesy of Wilson, who converted his sixth goal of the season.
The Wales U21 starlet pinched the ball off Iversen on the edge of the area and the captain slotted into an empty net to put his side in control.
Wilson then turned provider for Liverpool’s fourth and final game ten minutes before the interval, turning inside the area and chipping a delicate cross for Ejaria to score a diving header.
Full-back Alexander-Arnold almost added a fifth as the Reds ran riot, but his low drive smashed the post and went away to safety as Liverpool received a standing ovation at half-time.
They started the second half in similar fashion to how they ended the first, with Iversen producing a spectacular save to deny Ilori after his rose highest to meet Wilson’s corner.
Shortly after, Pedro Chirivella became the second Liverpool player to hit the woodwork as his side searched for the elusive fifth goal, with Wilson again being heavily involved.
The goalmouth’s at Prenton Park saw a lot of action and Leicester went inches away from grabbing a consolation, but Admiral Muskwe’s shot beat Caoimhin Kelleher and hit the upright as the Reds held on for a clean sheet.
More positive news for the Reds came when summer signing Juanma made his competitive debut after his international clearance was granted this week, coming on for Corey Whelan late on.
The win moves Liverpool up to sixth in the Premier League 2 table, three points behind the league leaders Everton.
They will look to close the gap on their Merseyside rivals when they travel to Tottenham, who have also won two of their opening four games.
Liverpool U23s: Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Ilori, Whelan (Juanma 72’), Randall; Stewart, Chirivella (Brannagan 72’); Wilson, Ejaria, Woodburn (Lennon 83’); Ings.
Leicester U23s: Iversen; Knight, Moore, Johnson, Wood; Miles, Barnes; Rowe, Muskwe, Ndukwu; Mitchell.