Liverweb Match Report
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Liverpool 2 Manchester City 1
The Reds U18 side beat Manchester City by two goals to one and it was a win very much deserved as well at a very soggy academy. The Rain was falling throughout the game and it probably kept the crowd down in size considering the first team don't play until tomorrow.
The Reds got the game started defending the academy end in the first half.
I've seen City a few times over the years now and they always have decent teams at this level so I was expecting a good game. After a decent start from both sides it was the Reds who pressed higher up the pitch and forced their game to be on top.
After just five minutes Adorjan had a shot blocked before Raheem Sterling, recent receiver of a first team squad number, fired across the keeper and past the far post.
Blocked shots proved quite popular throughout the half for the Reds as City got their bodies in the way time and again as the Reds pushed forward.
Adam Morgan was next to go close with a shot and then on fifteen minutes Sterling again beat the far post. Ten minutes later and Sterling and Morgan linked up but Sterling saw his shot blocked and deflected out for a corner.
On the half hour mark Sterling who was having a good half threaded a ball through for Morgan but hit shot to the near post was well saved for a corner. The corner came in and Morgan headed over the bar as he seemed to just meet the ball on the rise and couldn't direct the ball.
The Reds finally took the lead shortly before half time and it meant they went in at half time with a goal for all their efforts. Adorjan pounced on to a poor ball out from the back and set Sterling going in to the area. He checked inside his man before rolling the ball past the keeper in to the bottom corner of the net.
There was one extra minute added at the end of the half - I picked that up from the ref rather than a board going up.
City made a sub at half time with Huws replacing Evans in midfield. The Reds remained as they were from the first half and looked to build on their first half lead.
The second half proved to be a tighter affair but as time went on the Reds dominated once again.
Five minutes in to the half and after Silva turned his man well on half way fed Morgan and his shot nearly squirmed through the keepers arms and under his body.
City made a second switch on fifty three minutes as Drury replaced Tom Skodsgrud - one of two brothers in the City back line.
On fifty seven minutes I've no idea how City didn't score as a corner kick fell in the six yard box and somehow ran through it before the Reds managed to clear the ball.
On the hour mark Coady won the ball well in midfield and found Morgan up front but hos shot went just wide of the target.
City drew level two minutes later and it was a stunning equaliser. Henshaw took the ball down really well twenty yards from goal to the left corner of the box before volleying a superb effort over Belford in to the far corner of the net. It reminded me of Terry McDermott's effort in something like 1981 at Spurs which won goal of the season.
The goal really woke the Reds up again and they went on to get back in to the lead and win the game.
Virtually straight from the kick off Morgan was through on goal but his shot beyond the keeper was cleared off the line by a defender.
City were forced in to making their final change twenty minutes in to the half when Facey fell awkwardly over his own man and he was switched for Kennedy. He had played quite well and had some good pace about him in containing Silva and Sterling through the game.
On seventy three minutes the Reds had another chance to score when Adorjan found Silva who cut inside his man and curled a shot past the keeper only for another goal line clearance to come from City.
Seven minutes later and Silva was again denied when he ran through and shot from outside the box. The keeper pulled off a great save though as the shot looked like it was flying to the top corner.
The Reds pressure finally paid off on eighty three minutes when Adam Morgan fired what turned out to be the winner. Krisztian Adorjan played the ball through to Morgan who gave himself some space before shooting past the keeper at his near post. It was a great finished and he slid across the pitch before being joined by virtually the whole side sliding in to him. The slide proved to be Morgans last real action in the game as his leg cramped up and he was replaced by Jason Banton not longer afterwards.
This was my first view of Banton so i was interested to see how he would play. He went up top for the Reds and straight away tried to put City under pressure. He chased a ball across to the touch line where I was stood and as the City player went to clear it Banton shouted boo. It never put him off and I have to say I had a good laugh at this as I've never seen a player say boo before to try and put a player off - hilarious!
The Reds had one final chance in stoppage time to extend the lead but Adorjan saw his effort hit the post after Silva had an effort saved. The final whistle blew shortly afterwards and the Reds could celebrate a hard working but well deserved win over City.
MotM : Matty McGiveron - really solid at the back for the Reds and virtually nothing went got past him. Raheem Sterling had a great first half whilst Toni Silva had a great second half although I do wish he'd beat his man on the outside sometimes.