Liverpool U21s' season was brought to an end after their 3-0 loss to Manchester United in the semi-final of the Barclays U21 Premier League at Old Trafford.
Two first-half penalties from Larnell Cole - followed by a strike in the second 45 minutes to secure his hat-trick - ensured defeat for Alex Inglethorpe's side after an admirable performance from the young Reds.
It proved to be Liverpool's final game of their campaign after an impressive journey through the Elite Group of the league and into the penultimate stage of the competition.
Despite Liverpool settling into affairs with ease, they found themselves behind courtesy of a Cole penalty shortly after a quarter of an hour.
Stephen Sama allegedly tripped Tom Lawrence in the area, allowing Cole to send goalkeeper Danny Ward the wrong way with a spot-kick that he tucked into the bottom-left corner.
That was not to be the only occasion where the Reds were stung by a refereeing decision. In the 25th minute, Lawrence skipped into the 18-yard box before being knocked to the ground by Jon Flanagan, resulting in Cole facing Ward from 12 yards yet again.
The winger chose the opposite direction for his second penalty, side-footing past Ward to extend United's lead to two.
That did not deter the visitors from pressing as they looked to halve the deficit.
As the break approached, Conor Coady's powerful sliding challenge stole possession in midfield, allowing him to lay the ball across to Adam Morgan - who unfortunately sliced a 20-yard effort wide.
The Reds began the second period with the same drive and determination that characterised their efforts in the opening half. This was evident 10 minutes after the restart when a relentless run by the energetic Jordon Ibe helped to present Krisztian Adorjan with an inviting opportunity.
The winger surged inside from the right flank and across the midfield before playing an incisive pass to the feet of the Hungarian. Adorjan failed to curl the ball into the top corner as his shot soared over the crossbar.
With 20 minutes remaining, the Reds were unlucky to fall further behind after the rearguard struggled to clear a United corner.
An initial scramble for possession in the area resulted in Tom Thorpe teeing up Cole on the edge of the 18-yard box. The youngster was fortunate to see his rifled drive change course as it deflected through a crowd of players and past Ward to seal his hat-trick.
Liverpool's lack of fortune continued when Flanagan was dismissed two minutes later. The full-back was judged to have kicked the ball towards Adnan Januzaj while he was down.
Valiant late pressing from the visitors brought no joy in front of goal but their performance capped off an encouraging season for Inglethorpe's youngsters.