An Adam Morgan goal at the Kop end was sparse consolation as Liverpool U21s lost 3-1 to league leaders Tottenham in front of more than 2,000 fans at Anfield.
Alex Inglethorpe has steered the youngsters to third place in their Elite Group but could not mastermind a victory over his old club, who led 2-0 after goals from former Barcelona forward Cristian Ceballos.
Morgan showed great composure to net right in front of the fans who had paid to watch in the Kop - and the second-half fight-back was almost complete when Kris Peterson fired goalwards only to hit the woodwork.
Instead Tottenham rounded off their victory with a Ken McEvoy hit on 87 minutes.
Inglethorpe's charges had actually made a bright start and Krisztian Adorjan had gone close in the opening stages when a low cross fell invitingly to the No.10 at the back post, but the Hungarian's attempted cross was charged down.
Spurs are top of the elite U21 league and they showed their quality when Ceballos cut past Ryan McLaughlin down the left flank and found the net from a tight angle which Peter Gulacsi couldn't keep out.
A flowing move led to Tottenham's second goal in the 50th minute when Ceballos headed home at the Anfield Road end after a fine cross from Jack Barthram.
The introduction of Nacho and Cameron Brannagan inspired the Reds and Morgan pulled a goal back in front of the Kop end as he got back to scoring ways.
Peterson then hit the woodwork as Liverpool turned on the pressure but a defensive slip let in McEvoy to put the game beyond doubt.
Inglethorpe's side are next in action on Monday, April 8, when they entertain Arsenal at Anfield - a game you can watch live on LFC TV and LFC TV Online from 6.45pm BST.