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Liverpool's U21s began their Elite Group campaign in the Barclays U21 Premier League with a 1-0 victory against Southampton at Kirkby.
Amid continuous rain, Daniel Pacheco forced the match-winner with an effort which hit Saints defender Jordan Turnbull and found the back of the net.
In the preliminary stage of the competition, the Reds remained unbeaten in 12 games and rounded off their campaign by thrashing Crystal Palace 4-1 at the beginning of December.
The first action of the match saw Jon Flanagan replaced by Ryan McLaughlin after suffering a knock, before Krisztian Adorjan curled wide of the far post from the edge of the box.
Michael Ngoo had two clear chances of his own but could not convert when behind the Saints defence and the visitors entered half-time level despite being dominated for much of the opening period.
Pacheco will have no idea how he failed to put the hosts in front 90 seconds into the second half, when the ball arrived at his feet from a goalkeeping parry.
But the Spaniard dwelled for too long before seeing his eventual shot blocked.
Pacheco made amends on the hour mark, however, gliding past a succession of Southampton challenges before driving past the goalkeeper with help from a deflection off Turnbull.
The diminutive forward had several opportunities to double his tally but Alex Inglethorpe's side settled for 1-0 and a winning start to the elite stage.
Team: Gulacsi, Flanagan (McLaughlin), Smith (Ibe), Sama, Wilson, Coady, Pelosi (Sokolik), Teixeira, Ngoo, Adorjan, Pacheco. Unused subs: Ward, Yesil.
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