Neil Critchley felt the performances of attacking trio Rhian Brewster, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott offered encouraging signs for the future as Liverpool U23s gained their first points of the season in Premier League 2 with a 4-2 win at Southampton.

The trio linked up impressively at the Staplewood Training Ground on Monday night to secure victory for the Reds over Saints.

After their opening two defeats in 2019-20, Critchley’s charges gained the three points courtesy of goals from Brewster, Jones, Pedro Chirivella and Luis Longstaff.

Read on for Critchley’s assessment of a good evening for the young Reds…

On the 4-2 win…

It was hard-fought in the end. I thought in the first half it was nice to get the first goal, a really good goal as well. But then we showed frailties in possession in our own half. It’s something that we have spoken about and we don’t seem to have learned from it and gave away a really poor goal. We then scored another good goal, a fantastic pass from Pedro and a good run from Curtis. Again, that is something we had spoken about - getting in behind them. We have had a lot of possession in our previous two games but not been near the opposition goal enough.

We pressed higher up the pitch and we had a lot of chances in the first half and could have finished the game off. We didn’t start the second half very well but then scored from a corner. Then we again showed our inexperience and didn’t maintain our shape very well. We were too easy to play against and when they got it back to 3-2, they missed a really good chance to make it 3-3 and it was a crucial moment in the game. We got a little bit of luck that we maybe deserved and then we went on to win. It’s a nice feeling to win and we can now enjoy the long trip back home.

LFCTV GO: Southampton 2-4 LFC U23s

On the clever link-up play between Brewster, Jones and Elliott…

I thought they caused a lot of problems with their movement, pace and energy. It was lovely for Rhian to get his first goal, he’s off the mark, Curtis got a goal too, a little bit of fortune but he made a lovely run in behind. I thought Harvey [and] his general play all night was excellent. He was a real thorn in their side and he showed real intelligence with his movement running in behind them. I thought his work-rate off the ball as well and his attitude to work for the team was fantastic. I was really impressed with him. I was really pleased with their contribution and hopefully they can take confidence from that moving forward.

On Saturday’s game against Manchester City at Anfield…

When you get the chance to play at Anfield it’s always a fantastic occasion. That’s where our players want to be playing and in bigger meaningful games in the future. We can go there with a win under our belts and we know it will be a tough game against really good opposition. They have got some good players and we need to improve again with our performance, but hopefully we can go to Anfield and play with the ball like we did tonight. We just need to improve defensively, particularly when the opposition get a bit of momentum in the game.

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