After stepping up to the senior squad to provide attacking options in the AFCON -forced absence of Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah, 17-year-old Kaide Gordon returned to the scoresheet as Liverpool U23s found a result against Crystal Palace’s U23s on Monday afternoon.
Liverpool have now completed a clean sweep against Palace, with the Women putting four past Palace on Sunday at the same time as the Men’s team won 3-1 in London.
Gordon’s goal came second after Max Voltman’s tap-in on 19 minutes put the Reds 1-0 up in what was a commanding performance. The match was not entirely smooth for Gordon, however: he missed a penalty that would have doubled the lead just before the halftime break.
The match thus remained on edge than it should have been until Gordon made amends in second half stoppage time. The second half could have seen a Palace comeback by a side enhanced with first team players Nathaniel Clyne and Martin Kelly.
As it happened, Liverpool’s strong attacking start was enough to hold Palace off, though the match in a lot of ways mirrored the action at Selhurst Park: an immense performance by Marcelo Pitaluga in an end-to-end first half kept Palace at bay, and the young side’s defensive solidity (and maybe some luck) saw them through the match.
That Gordon’s goal happened through a late counter attack under sustained Palace pressure emphasizes the hard-fought character of the game.