Liverpool U18s v Arsenal: Match blog
The story of the game from Anfield as Steven Gerrard's U18s faced Arsenal in the FA Youth Cup fourth round.
- Watch the full match on LFCTV from 7pm GMT
- Highlights will be available on LFCTV GO on Saturday evening
Liverpool 2-3 Arsenal
Huge disappointment for the Reds, who bow out of the FA Youth Cup in the fourth round after an absorbing contest with Arsenal at Anfield.
A Curtis Jones double looked to have earned a narrow victory for Gerrard's side but a late equaliser forced extra-time and Tyreece John-Jules won it for the visitors.
Camacho clips in a cross from the left and Larouci's header bobbles in the direction of the bottom corner until Virginia stretches to tip the ball around the post.
Patient approach play by the Reds leads to a shooting chance for Larouci, whose effort is too straight and an easy take for the goalkeeper.
Benson fancies his chances with a blast from around 25 yards that whistles comfortably wide of Jaros' right post. 10 minutes left for Gerrard's boys to save their FA Youth Cup campaign...
Final changes for both sides as the second half of extra-time begins...
McAuley is on for Millar for the Reds.
Arsenal send on Omole for Ballard.
There are a few tired legs here and Camacho just produced a sprint into the area from the byline but his low shot lacked the power to properly trouble Virginia.
Jones goes into the book.
One change apiece...
Sharif comes on for Rhys Williams for Liverpool.
Benson replaces Amaechi for Arsenal.
Goal for Arsenal - John-Jules
There was a sense it was coming and Arsenal have clawed themselves back in front.
Saka was slipped into free space in the right channel and his delivery into the centre was bundled home from yards out by John-Jules.
Here comes the first switch... Larouci is on for Neco Williams.
The visitors are enjoying the better of the game now and Smith-Rowe drives a shot over the bar from 18 yards. Gerrard immediately plans changes to freshen up his XI.
A stroke of luck for Liverpool. The continually dangerous Amaechi snuck into space from the right hand side and crossed into the middle, where Clayton's clearance struck Jaros and, thankfully, went to safety.
Here we go for another 30 minutes... come on, Reds!
Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal
End of the 90 minutes at Anfield and we're heading into extra-time after Saka's late response for the visitors.
Gerrard still has three substitutions at his disposal for the additional half-hour.
Goal for Arsenal - Saka
Heartbreak for the Reds as the substitute gets into the area and sends a fierce effort into the roof of the net to haul the Gunners level with minutes left on the clock.
Jones is afforded time and space in a central area and the forward tries to place a shot past Virginia but the stopper collects at head height.
Crucial intervention there from the Arsenal captain, Ballard, to stop a dangerous Camacho cross from reaching a Reds teammate. Still in the balance this one.
Daley-Campbell receives a caution.
Arsenal introduce Saka for Coyle.
Back come the hosts in search of a goal that would likely put the tie to bed, Tagseth moving onto a cross along the width of the Arsenal area but leaning back too much and powering a shot into the Kop.
Liverpool are living a little dangerously at the moment.
Smith should have done better with a low shot from 12 yards that Jaros smothered, before the goalkeeper's attempted clearance was blocked by Amaechi and Lewis had to clear.
Great opportunity for John-Jules to hit back spurned. Arsenal kept the chance alive at the byline on the left but when it was squared for the No.9, he took a touch and clipped off target.
The Reds are on top here and briefly think they have a third, Millar heading Lewis' cross into the top corner, but the linesman's flag curtails the celebrations. Still 2-1.
Neco Williams booked for a late foul on Amaechi.
Goal for Liverpool! Curtis Jones!
What a day for the young man.
He forced his way into a modicum of space inside the Arsenal area and saw a cross-shot flick off a defender and deceive the goalkeeper to hit the net in front of the Kop.
The Reds get the game restarted, attacking towards the Kop end in the second half...
Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal
It's level at the halfway stage at Anfield.
Burton handed the away team the lead early in the first half but Gerrard's charges have responded well and ensured they are on even terms after 45 minutes courtesy of Jones' calm finish three minutes before the break.
Goal for Liverpool! Curtis Jones!
That is a really fine goal to restore parity in this cup tie.
Camacho has been restricted for large parts of the first half but spotted room to surge along the left flank and had the vision to precisely pick out Jones in the middle. The No.10 produced a finish to match, coolly side-footing past Virginia.
Promising sight of goal for Tagseth around 20 yards out but his blast takes a deflection and loops over the crossbar.
That said, an excellent passage of play from the Gunners concludes with Smith-Rowe lashing a well-struck volley just wide of the diving Jaros' goal.
There's no lack of effort or intent from Liverpool here but, to their frustration, Arsenal have settled in and are now happy to spring on the counter-attack while soaking up pressure.
A long way to go, though.
Lewis whips an inviting cross towards the Arsenal six-yard box and the run of Millar, who just can't connect with the delivery yards out.
Lewis requires more treatment after a nasty fall - but again the left-back dusts himself down to carry on.
Good chance for Liverpool to level as Tagseth flicks a pass into the run of Lewis in the Arsenal box, but Millar cannot convert from close range when the captain swerves a cross-shot towards the back post.
Goal for Arsenal - Burton
The visitors take the lead at Anfield.
Amaechi's set-piece delivery from the right was only cleared to the edge of the area and when Burton was teed up for a strike, he was the beneficiary of a big deflection that spun the ball beyond the helpless Jaros.
Danger for the hosts as Arsenal break away down the left and reach the byline, but when the pull-back finds John-Jules the forward scuffs his shot harmlessly wide of goal. A let-off there
Reds captain Lewis needs treatment after receiving a blow to the face, but he's fine to continue.
And quickly at the other end, Coyle breaks into space inside the Liverpool area in the right channel. The No.10 lines up his spot on the angle, only to see Neco Williams perfectly time his sliding tackle to snuff out the danger.
An even start to the proceedings but the home side are just threatening to come to life. Camacho tried to release Millar after a really nice touch but saw his pass blocked, while Tagseth was yards away from latching onto a ball into the Arsenal box.
We're under way... come on, Reds!
There's a good turnout on the Kop here, as hoped, and we're now awaiting the emergence of the two teams. Stay right here for live updates on the game...
The official teamsheet
So, a dream start in midfield for Edvard Tagseth, who grew up idolising his manager and will hope to continue his influential performances from the centre of the park this afternoon.
We caught up with the Norwegian at the Academy recently to learn more about his journey to Anfield and why he had posters of Gerrard on his wall as kid.
Gerrard has named a team of 11 Anfield debutants to face Arsenal...
U18s: Jaros, N. Williams, Lewis, R. Williams, Boyes, Clayton, Tagseth, Dixon-Bonner, Millar, Jones, Camacho.
Substitutes: Glennon, Atherton, Sharif, Larouci, McAuley.
A matchday blog means a weather update.
It's a drizzly afternoon in L4, with light rain falling around the stadium at present. Perhaps ideal conditions for football, though, with the surface sure to be slick from the off.
Wrap up if you're coming to Anfield, however.
Liverpool U18s booked their place in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup with a 5-1 win on the road at Hartlepool United. See how they did it in the LFCTV GO highlights below...
Gerrard's guide to the Youth Cup squad
If you want to know more about the young men who will represent the Reds this afternoon, we have the perfect reading material for you.
Gerrard talked us through the qualities of each member of his squad in a really interesting chat ahead of the match. Click here for the full interview.
Will Woodburn feature?
Ben Woodburn is eligible for this competition and Gerrard asked Klopp whether the 18-year-old could be released to play in today's tie.
The manager admitted he would like to fulfil that request, but the attacker's involvement in the senior team's preparations for Monday's game against Swansea City would have to take priority.
We'll have the confirmed XI for you here at 2.05pm GMT.
Klopp: 'Enjoy it!'
Jürgen Klopp had a special message for Gerrard and his players ahead of the big occasion, insisting that the U18s should grab the oppportunity in their hands.
"I like the idea that the boys get the experience. Not only for Steven, he's had the experience there. But for the U18s it's fantastic to play at Anfield," he said.
"If you're a Liverpool supporter, go there and enjoy the atmosphere – and create an atmosphere. It would be fantastic if thousands of people could sing You'll Never Walk Alone. There's enough space at Anfield. Bring the noise there."
How to watch
Broadcast rules mean we are unable to show you the tie live but delayed coverage of the full match will be available on LFCTV at 7pm GMT, with highlights on LFCTV GO this evening too.
If you need to whet your appetite for the game, check out our pick of the U18s' 10 best goals throughout 2017...
Support the lads this afternoon
Gerrard and his U18s would love your support today and if you fancy attending the match, entry to the Kop is free for season ticket holders and Members, otherwise just £3 for adults and £1 for children and concessions.
Click here for more ticket details.
A warm welcome to a very special matchday blog as we bring you live coverage of Liverpool U18s' FA Youth Cup fourth-round clash with Arsenal from Anfield.
Steven Gerrard is set to manage a side at the first-team stadium for the very first time - and it's not one to miss. Follow the action as it happens right here.