Liverpool’s U18s remained unbeaten with two positive results, but the U23s suffered a shock defeat against Sparta Prague in a mixed week for the Academy.
Liam Millar notched his 12th goal of the season as Liverpool U18s maintained their unbeaten start to the league season with a 1-1 draw against a strong Manchester City side at the Kirkby Academy.Millar put the Reds ahead in the first half, but Keke Simmonds, brother of Liverpool starlet Okera, netted an equaliser for the league leaders after the interval.
Steven Gerrard’s side now move up to fourth in the Premier League table and are yet to taste defeat from their opening nine matches. They are just three points off Man City at the top.
Liverpool U18s: Grabara; Williams, Clayton, Glennon (Glatzel 70’), Lewis; Camacho, Dixon-Bonner, Sharif, Jones, Tagesth; Millar (Boyes 85’).
The draw came just days after Curtis Jones scored a late winner as the U18s secured a vital 2-1 victory over Sunderland at the Kirkby Academy on Friday night.
After a lacklustre opening period, Glen McAuley burst the game into life by putting the Reds ahead, but Lee Connelly levelled shortly afterwards.
Jones was the hero for Liverpool, netting an 89th minute winner after Millar’s effort rebounded off the post and fortunately fell to the midfielder to stroke home the winner, with Gerrard saying it was their ‘biggest win of the season.’
Liverpool U18s: Jaros; Sharif (Larouci), Williams, Glennon, Lewis; Clayton, Dixon-Bonner, Tagseth; Cmacho, Glatzel (Jones); McAuley (Millar).
Adam Lewis has been a constant fixture in the U18s side this season, and boss Gerrard fears that he will lose him to the U23s this season, labelling him ‘the best he’s seen at his age.’
The left-back has been vital to the young Reds going forward and has also been handed the captain’s armband on numerous occasions this season.
Gerrard told liverpoolfc.com: “If Adam can keep this consistency up I don’t think he’ll be around this team for much longer. I want to keep him for as long as I can, but he’s such a threat on the left side.
“Going forward, I haven’t seen anyone as good as him at that age, in terms of quality and what he can deliver in the final third.”
Staying with the U18s, and their FA Youth Cup Third Round tie against Hartlepool will take place at the Vic on Wednesday 13 December, with a 7pm kick-off.
Elsewhere, Harry Wilson netted a brace as Liverpool U23s maintained their place at the top of the Premier League 2 table with a 3-1 victory over Chelsea on Saturday morning.
Wilson put the Reds ahead after just six minutes, but Callum Hudson-Odoi equalised before Ben Woodburn restored Liverpool’s lead moments before half-time.
However, just as Chelsea were pushing for a leveller, Wilson made sure of all three points, sealing the victory in the second half with his 11th goal of the season.
Liverpool U23s: Kelleher; Flanagan, Whelan, Jones, Johnston; Ejaria, Virtue, Kane; Wilson, Brewster (Dhanda 78’), Woodburn (Adekanye 78’).
Wilson then missed a crucial penalty as Liverpool U23s suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Sparta Prague at Prenton Park to leave their Premier League International Cup qualification hopes up in the air.
Neil Critchley named a strong side, with Danny Ward, Danny Ings, Woodburn, Ovie Ejaria, Wilson and Rhian Brewster all featuring in a very attacking line-up.
Ward saved a spot-kick of his own, but Srdan Placsic scored the winner for the visitors five minutes from time meaning the Reds must beat PSV in their next game to have any chance of qualifying.
Liverpool U23s: Ward; Masterson, Lloyd, Johnston; Wilson, Ejaria, Kane (Virtue 73’), Adekanye; Dhanda (Brewster 73’), Woodburn; Ings.