Liverpool U21s' first home fixture of the new season ended with a 1-1 draw against rivals Manchester United at Anfield on Friday evening.

Jordan Lussey's excellent free-kick in front of the Kop had earned the young Reds a slender advantage in the second half, but an instant riposte via Tom Lawrence brought the travellers onto level terms.

The result maintains an unbeaten opening to the campaign for Michael Beale's outfit after Sunderland were downed by a late Ryan McLaughlin effort earlier this week.

Little over five minutes had elapsed when Joe Rothwell latched onto a headed flick to the left by Lawrence and trained his shooting scope on the top left corner of Danny Ward's goal from around 20 yards out. But the strike flew off target.

Kristoffer Peterson, operating in a fluid front three alongside Sheyi Ojo and Harry Wilson, grasped control of possession and sought to scamper along the left flank by way of a response - he managed to beat two defenders too, although his lofted cross-shot proved harmless.

The Swedish attacker tried something similar shortly after, having been picked out by an incisive delivery into the channel from Kevin Stewart, only for his side-footer to travel easily into the hands of United goalkeeper Joel Castro Pereira.

With 25 minutes on the clock, the Reds had Lloyd Jones and Jordan Rossiter to thank for keeping the score goalless. Josh Harrop dispossessed Cameron Brannagan and surged at Ward with the goal at his mercy - the home duo were in the way to block his hit, however.

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On the half-hour, Lussey had reason to bemoan his lack of fortune. The midfielder advanced centrally and passed into Ojo before taking a return and lashing at goal with his left, unfortunately striking the outside of the far post at the Anfield Road end.

Moments later, the woodwork was rattled at the other end by Red Devils defender Patrick McNair, who contrived to send a headed attempt onto the right post despite being gifted total freedom inside the Liverpool penalty box.

When the two sides returned for the second half, Beale's young charges controlled proceedings, camping in opposition territory, and an accurate, whipped Wilson set-piece was thwarted low to his left by a diving Pereira.

And it was from a subsequent free-kick that the hosts finally sourced a breakthrough. Peterson drew a foul with a searing dribble forward and Lussey assumed responsibility. Rightly so too, judging by the perfect low finish he fired into the far right corner for 1-0.

Frustratingly, the advantage survived for just seconds. The visitors attacked immediately and intricate passing released the tricky James Weir, who offered a precise and inviting centre for Lawrence to tap into the roof of the net at close range.

Sergi Canos had entered the action as a substitute and perhaps should have secured a victory when quick thinking by Ojo played the Spaniard clean through, but the 17-year-old was smothered by Pereira and neither side could produce a winner.

Liverpool team: Ward, McLaughlin, Stewart, Williams, Jones, Rossiter, Wilson (Canos), Lussey (Pelosi), Ojo, Brannagan, Peterson (Yesil). Unused substitutes: Maguire, Vigouroux.