The U23s had a lackluster game for the most part, despite coach Neil Critchley drawing on a wealth of talent in his line-up. Marko Grujic, Danny Ings, Ovie Ejaria, Ryan Kent, and Ben Woodburn all featured, but it was Rhian Brewster and Matty Virtue who rescued the game from the jaws of ennui. Both Brewster and Virtue came on as substitutes and managed to net one and two goals, respectively. While Critchley will be looking for a better overall performance next week despite the 3-0 win, Liverpool U23s are now sitting on top of the Premier League 2 table with six points from their first two games.
The U18s had a tougher win against Blackburn Rovers. While the Reds took the lead twice in the game, the final few minutes were a nervy affair as Blackburn hit the woodwork twice. The final whistle — and the 3-2 victory for Liverpool — was a relief to everyone, including the U18s new coach Steven Gerrard.
“I thought we defended very, very well in the first half,” Gerrard told the club’s official site after the game. “We always knew that Blackburn were going to have a phase in the game where they might come back into it; it’s important in those periods that we don’t concede goals. So, as a defensive unit, in the second half we’re slightly disappointed.”
“But I’m pleased with the win and pleased for the lads. It’s a good start to the season for us, four [points] out of six. It should be six — us coaches always want more. We’ll keep working with them and keep trying to improve them.”
It’s been a good start to the season for everyone. Here’s hoping all three teams build on this in the coming months.