By Scott Taylor
Sheyi Ojo made his long awaited comeback from an injury but Liverpool U23s suffered a 2-1 defeat to Leicester City in the Premier League International Cup on Saturday afternoon. Ojo, 19, played 65 minutes on his competitive return after being out since pre-season with a back injury whilst Harry Wilson was again on the scoresheet to put Liverpool ahead. However, second half goals from Layton Ndukwu secured the points for the hosts at St George’s Park, as the Reds suffer their first defeat since October.
U23s Head Coach Michael Beale made two changes from the side that was held to a goalless draw by Derby with Jordan Williams and Ojo replacing Corey Whelan and Matty Virtue.
Despite starting the slower of the two sides, Liverpool grew into the game as it progressed, and were rewarded with the opening goal of the game.
A fantastic team move from the vistiors ended with Juanma’s cross finding Wilson, and the Wales U21 international headed home his 12th goal of the season in all competitions.
Brooks Lennon was another man in fine form since establishing his spot as the first-choice forward, but went close on two occasions.
The American youngster, 19, has scored eight goals in 12 starts, and was through on goal both times and was denied by the Leicester goalkeeper as the Reds searched to put the game to bed.
They were left to rue their missed opportunities as another Liverpool attack broke down and Leicester punished them on the counter-attack, with Ndukwu grabbing the equaliser.
Both sides had chances to win it late on, but Ndukwu struck a goal deserving of any winner, by replicating former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso.
The Leicester man picked up the ball of the halfway line and floated the ball over Kamil Grabara to hand the hosts all three points.
The Reds end their Premier League International Cup campaign with a draw and two defeats, and will look to respond in the Premier League cup at home to West Brom on Tuesday.
Liverpool U23s: Grabara; Gomez, Ilori, Sakho, Juanma; Williams, Chirivella (Alves 65′); Wilson, Brannagan (M Gomes 65′), Ojo (Virtue 65′); Lennon.