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Liverpool U-21 Match Report: Reds Lose Intriguing Opener 4-3

Clive Mason

In the first game of their new campaign, the Reds lost a barnburner 4-3 to Southampton. There were barely any recognizable names for the starting 11 with many players either out on loan or still training with the first team, but nevertheless, Liverpool put up a good fight against a solid Southampton side.

The goal scoring began with Southampton making a foolish back pass right to the feet of Liverpool striker Jack Dunn who cooly slid it into the net. The strike, which made the game 1-0, was hit across goal with Dunn's left foot. Southampton answered right back with an equalizer on a volley from the middle of the box. Within the opening fifteen minutes, two goals had already been scored, setting the stage for what would be a very intriguing match.

The Saints would score again to push the game to 2-1 on a breakaway goal by Jake Sinclair, brother of Premier League speedster Scott Sinclair. The goal was a result of Southampton exploiting the extremely high line that Liverpool were playing. Liverpool would concede again rather disappointingly, as a deflection was knocked home by Omar Rowe to inflate the deficit to 3-1.

Liverpool were perhaps a bit fortunate in the 38th minute when Jack Dunn, the scorer of the Reds opening goal, was brought down just outside the box yet granted a penalty. The man who made the pass in to Dunn, Villyan Bijev, knocked home the penalty to cut the score to 3-2. Interestingly, Bijev is a product of the United States and almost went to the University of Washington before deciding to join Liverpool. His wiki page is here.

Just when it seemed that the first half couldn't get any crazier, Kris Peterson pounced on a goalkeeping howler to equalize for Liverpool. The Southampton goalie dove for the initial ball but came up entirely empty and Peterson was never going to miss. Peterson almost began the second half with a scorching goal after whizzing by numerous defenders but was unluckily denied by the post.

Jake Sinclair would score his second goal of the match for Southampton, evading the keeper and grabbing a victory. Liverpool were undermanned but played well nonetheless in the 4-3 defeat.