Liverpool U18s battled back from a goal down to clinch a memorable 3-1 victory over rivals Manchester United at the Kirkby Academy on Saturday afternoon.

Neil Critchley's side took time to settle into the game during the first half - and they were rocked by an Ashley Fletcher strike after 22 minutes of play.

However, the young Reds were dominant after the interval, and two goals from Jerome Sinclair, either side of a rocket from Alex O'Hanlon, completed the comeback.

In what was the first meeting between the two teams in more than a year at U18 level, there was surprisingly few and far between in terms of chances early on.

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For Liverpool, 17-year-old Sinclair fired over the crossbar after freeing up space for himself near the edge of the area.

United fashioned the first meaningful chance of the game when Crump failed to collect an in-swinging corner and the ball found its way to Marcus Rashford, who was poised to nod home before Connor Randall intervened with a last-ditch headed clearance.

In the minute that followed, local lad Randall, who made his U21s debut last week, went in for not one, but two vital challenges to stem the flow of the United attack - but it wasn't enough to keep the visitors at bay.

Full-back Jordan Thompson floated a high pass forward and Fletcher darted in between the lines to flick the ball clear of Crump before rounding Daniel Cleary and tapping into the back of the net.

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Liverpool went in search of an equaliser. Ryan Kent was a constant threat, surging forward and slaloming in between bodies, but the youngster was unable to unlock United with a killer pass.

The Reds' Spanish playmaker Sergi Canos went close for Critchley's side, drawing a smart save from Dean Henderson, before rampaging forward to find Sinclair, who was denied by heroics from Thompson.

At the other end, United really ought to have made it 1-0 when Nicholas Ioannou, the centre-back, latched onto a through ball and Liverpool's defence let him run free. However, Crump closed the angle expertly and pulled off a fine save low to his right to turn around the post.

After the interval, Liverpool proved to be the more dominant force. Sinclair won a penalty after fine play from Kent, and the striker stepped up to slot home calmly and level the scores.

Alex O'Hanlon's screamer made it 2-1 in the 74th minute as the Irishman fired a beauty, scooping possession 30 yards from goal and manoeuvring into the space before letting rip with an unstoppable strike beyond Henderson.

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The Reds swarmed forward - with Seyi Ojo spearheading their forward forays and Sinclair eager to get on the ball and test the opposition 'keeper.

Ojo, who turned in a simply outstanding second-half display, rattled the crossbar with a vicious effort five minutes from time before smashing the woodwork again with minutes left on the clock.

Then, in injury-time, Sinclair twisted and turned away from his marker to rifle low past Henderson and clinch a memorable 3-1 win.