Academy Report : Feb 14 – Feb 20
Feb 14: Brighton & Hove Albion
Jerome Sinclair was the hero as Liverpool U21s completed a dramatic turnaround to reach the semi-finals of the U21 Premier League Cup with a 4-3 win over Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday afternoon.
Michael Beale’s side had to come back from behind twice but won the quarter-final tie with an extra-time goal courtesy of second-half substitute Sinclair.
Brighton had initially took the lead eight minutes in at Prenton Park through Tom Dallison before the Reds quickly pegged them back with Jose Enrique’s deflected goal.
Two James Tilley goals either side of half-time put the visitors 3-1 before Ryan McLaughlin, back off the bench after injury, pulled one back midway into the second half.
Sinclair levelled proceedings in the 75th minute with his first touch and then won the game for his side right at the start of extra-time.
Liverpool U21s: Bogdan, Randall, Enrique, Ilori, Maguire, Virtue (McLaughlin 63), Ojo, Chirivella, Lennon (Sinclair 75), Brannagan, Kent (Hart 105).
Feb 18: Middlesbrough
Sheyi Ojo netted a dramatic stoppage time winner as Liverpool U21s came from behind to beat Middlesbrough 2-1 at Chester FC’s Lookers Vauxhall Stadium on Thursday night.
Ojo netted twice in the game as Michael Beale’s side had to play most of the game with 10 men after captain Cameron Brannagan was sent-off.
The away side could have taken the lead from the penalty spot after 28 minutes but Bogdan, following on from his shootout heroics against Carlisle United in the Capital One Cup earlier this season, was the hero as he denied Jordan Jones from 12-yards out.
However Middlesbrough weren’t to be denied and they took the lead after 34 minutes from a set piece. Brannagan was shown a straight red card for a foul on Jones and Arnel Jakupovic stepped up to make it 1-0 with a brilliant free-kick.
Ojo made it 1-1 on 53 minutes when he cut in from the left to curl the ball beyond the reach of Joe Fryer.
It looked as though the game would end all square, but in the third minute of stoppage time substitute Brooks Lennon was brought down, and Ojo calmly picked himself up to net the winner from the penalty spot.
The only sour note of the night was the sight of substitute Matty Virtue being stretchered off with an ankle injury, and Beale will be hoping it won’t be a serious injury to a player who has had an excellent season to date.
Liverpool U21s: Bogdan, Flanagan, Enrique, Ilori, Maguire, Brannagan, McLaughlin (Virtue, sub M Gomes), O’Hanlon, Sinclair (Lennon), Kent, Ojo. Subs not used: Firth, Hart.
Neil Critchley’s side didnt play this week, but will take on Arsenal in the FA Youth Cup quarter-final at the Emirates Stadium on Friday March 4.
Kick-off will be at 7pm GMT and the tie has to be decided on the night with extra-time and penalties if necessary.
Neil Critchley’s charges booked their last eight spot courtesy of a dramatic stoppage time win over Nottingham Forest earlier this month, while the Gunners beat Coventry City on penalties on Monday night.
Feb 15: Cambridge United
Reds were held to a 2-2 draw by Cambridge United under the floodlights of the Abbey Stadium on Monday night.
Buoyed by the superb turnout, the U’s began the game the brighter of the two sides and took a deserved lead on 19 minutes, when a well-executed piece of play was finished expertly 12 yards from goal.