By Scott Taylor
Cameron Brannagan scored a late equaliser but Liverpool U23s were frustratingly held to a 1-1 draw at home to West Bromwich Albion in what turned out to be Michael Beale’s final game in charge.
Andre Wright headed the visitors in front against the run of play at Prenton Park, before Brannagan applied a neat lob to draw the Premier League Cup tie level.
West Brom held on for the point as U23s Head Coach Beale announced that it was his last game of his Liverpool tenure, as he heads for the assistant manager’s role at Sao Paulo.
In his Liverpool swansong, Beale made four changes from the team that lost to Leicester in the Premier League International Cup on Saturday.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben Woodburn, Ovie Ejaria were all recalled after their first-team appearances last week, whilst Joe Maguire was a late call-up for Juanma at left-back.
A very strong Liverpool side were dominant from the outside, with Woodburn, Pedro Chirivella and captain Harry Wilson all going close in the opening period.
Despite the chances, it was the visitors who took a 24th minute lead when Wright’s header looped over the helpless Kamil Grabara in the Reds goal.
Moments before the half-time whistle, it could have been 2-0, but Chay Scrivens free-kick curled inches past the post as Liverpool ended the first half behind.
After the interval, the Reds experienced showed and Beale’s side grabbed a well deserved equaliser, with Ojo playing in Brannagan who lobbed the onrushing goalkeeper Jack Rose.
The winger then went inches away from scoring a goal of his own, only for his effort to be cleared off the line as Liverpool went in search of a winner.
That winner almost came in the final few moments of stoppage time, but Rose pulled off a dramatic late save to deny Ejaria as the points were shared in Tranmere.
Liverpool remain unbeaten in the Premier League Cup and next focus their attention to Premier League 2 action when they host Arsenal on Monday evening.
Liverpool U23s: Grabara; Alexander-Arnold, Ilori, Sakho, Maguire (Lennon 70′); Chirivella, Brannagan, Ejaria; Wilson, Woodburn, Ojo.