Liverpool U21s 5-0 Spurs - report from St Helens
07 October 2013|Tottenham Hotspur
We struggled to break down an experienced Liverpool back four as our Under-21s slipped to a 5-0 defeat against the Reds on Monday night.
Three goals in the first half and two in the second were enough for the hosts, whose rearguard included Jon Flanagan, Aly Cissokho and Andre Wisdom - all players with first team experience - to claim the victory at Langtree Park.
We caused the Reds a few early problems down the left wing, with an early Ruben Lameiras free-kick easily dealt with by the hosts.
The first real chance fell to Liverpool’s Adam Morgan, as Jordan Rossiter capitalised on a slip by Dominic Ball to send the striker through on goal in the 10th minute, but Jonathan Miles got down low to his left and tipped the ball out for a corner.
Two minutes later, Cissokho whipped in a cross from the left, only for Brad Smith to miss the target at the back post.
Morgan later tested keeper Miles as he tried to put the finishing touch to a neat four-man move that emanated from the right wing, while a purposeful burst down the left from Kenny McEvoy ended with the ball being swung in to the box, but it just evaded our attackers as they arrived in the area.
The opening goal arrived as the match entered its 26th minute. Ryan McLaughin got away from the committed Ryan Fredericks and cut into the box from the left, only to be tripped by Ball - the referee immediately pointing to the spot.
Morgan buried the penalty into the top corner, giving the Reds the advantage, but it was in the minutes that followed that we had our best chance to get back into the game.
Defender Ball played out from the back, finding Nabil Bentaleb in the centre, who in turn fed Lameiras, but the latter could only drag his shot wide.
Within 60 seconds we mounted another attack, McEvoy dispossessing Rafael Paez Cardona before exchanging passes with Cameron Lancaster and firing straight at goalkeeper Danny Ward.
We were back in with a shout again two minutes later, McEvoy this time shrugging off the attentions of Flanagan and finding Lancaster in a central position, but again the shot was low and towards the keeper, allowing him to make a comfortable take.
Rossiter was marginally off target for Liverpool from 25 yards, before the hosts doubled their lead in the 41st minute. Cissokho found Cameron Branagan with a deft ball over the top, the Reds attacker beating the off-side trap and slotting home.
Miles made a great save shortly afterwards as McLaughlin battled his way between our two centre-halves to get into a shooting position, but the keeper could do nothing to keep out McLaughlin’s powerful finish just before the break, as he swept home from close range after Smith’s cross from the right.
We were left with plenty of work to do as we came out for the second half, but the Reds added a fourth goal within a minute of the restart - Smith collecting the ball in midfield and unleashing a 25-yard piledriver that left Miles with no chance.
Thereafter we struggled to create any clear-cut chances, although the introduction of three players from our in-form Under-18s side from the bench added fresh impetus. The first of said substitutes, Nathan Oduwa, played a good ball into the box in the 63rd minute, but it ran just beyond the advancing McEvoy, while Grant Ward cut infield from the left four minutes later and unleashed a fine shot from long range, which forced keeper Ward to tip away at the expense of a corner.
Substitute Joao Carlos Teixeira had only been on the pitch for a matter of seconds when he bagged Liverpool’s fifth goal in the 70th minute, robbing Kevin Stewart of possession in midfield and advancing before firing past Miles.
The hosts went close to adding a sixth goal shortly afterwards, quickly countering as we applied pressure in the Liverpool area. As the Reds broke forward, Samed Yesil saw his shot rebound off the far post after being fed by fellow substitute Teixeira, although our substitute Connor Ogilvie did well to get back at speed and make life difficult for the Reds player as he got his shot away.
Stewart skied a shot over the top at the other end after a Lameiras free-kick at the side of the box, while Miles made a double save to deny McLaughlin and Morgan in quick succession.
Lamerias fired over the bar after latching onto McEvoy’s cross as we made a late rally, with our final chance coming two minutes from time, as Oduwa fed Joshua Onomah, whose rasping effort was pushed over the bar by Ward.
Spurs: Miles, Fredericks (Ogilvie 71), Ward, Veljkovic, Ball, Stewart, McEvoy, Bentaleb, Lancaster (Oduwa 45), Lameiras, D McQueen (Onomah71). Sub not used: Vigouroux (GK).