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Liverpool U21s suffered last-minute heartbreak at the hands of fierce rivals Manchester United as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Langtree Park.
The Reds were reduced to 10 men on 50 minutes when Stephen Sama was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
Undeterred, Alex Inglethorpe's side fought their way back into the contest and created a multitude of chances during the closing exchanges.
However, on 94 minutes, centre-back Michele Fornasier volleyed home United's winner.
Liverpool named a strong side for the clash as first-team players Raheem Sterling, Andre Wisdom, Jonjo Shelvey and Suso were all included in the starting line-up.
But it was the visitors who started the sprightlier of the two sides on the night.
Jeffrey Schlupp first fired wide of Danny Ward's left post before drawing a fine save from the Welsh stopper moments later.
Suso arrowed a pass into Adam Morgan but the local lad could only nod wide as he twisted inside the penalty area.
Wisdom's forward foray down the right flank then opened up space for Morgan to rattle the post with a drilled effort.
Schlupp was again denied by Ward before the interval after a lightning-quick United breakaway caught the home side unawares.
Tom Thorpe was well placed to cut-out Wisdom's cross after Shelvey unlocked the United defence with a perfectly-weighted pass just after the restart.
However, the Reds were reduced to 10 men when Sama was shown a second yellow card just five minutes into the second period.
With the home side weakened, Larnell Cole and then Schlupp almost broke the deadlock as Shelvey tucked in at right-back and Wisdom moved into the centre from the flank.
On 68 minutes, Ward produced another wonderful save when Schlupp seized upon a slip from Wisdom and hammered goalwards. Shelvey cleared off the line from the subsequent corner.
Morgan had an opportunity to grab a late goal for Liverpool but he hesitated and allowed United defenders to crowd him out in the penalty area.
Suso fired over the bar after neat link-up play with Krisztian Adorjan before Joao Carlos Teixeira went agonisingly close with a long-range drive on 83 minutes.
The Reds were left deflated when Fornasier volleyed home on 94 minutes to seal victory for the visitors.
Author: @philreade Tagged:
, manchester united
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