AcademyLayton Stewart scores as U23s beat Leicester City 4-0
Layton Stewart was on the scoresheet as Liverpool U23s continued their excellent form in Premier League 2 with a resounding 4-0 win away at Leicester City on Monday night.
The Scouse forward, who made a comeback from injury as a substitute in the previous outing against West Ham United, made his first start in 13 months.
Harvey Elliott featured in the game and played the opening 45 minutes, as Barry Lewtas’ side extended their unbeaten run to nine games, with just one defeat in 2022.
Tyler Morton provided the assist for the opening goal in first-half stoppage time when he set up James Norris to finish superbly.
A wonderful run from Owen Beck laid the foundations for the second goal, the full-back feeding the ball into the path of Jack Bearne, who made it 2-0 to maintain his fine form in front of goal.
Norris then turned provider as he set up Stewart to make it 3-0, before the No.9 left the field in a planned change after enjoying an hour-long runout.
James Balagizi, who replaced Stewart, added a fourth goal in the 84th minute after Bearne had struck the bar, to complete a great night for the young Reds.
Reflecting on the win, Lewtas told Liverpoolfc.com: “The boys are in a really good place and it was a great night for us. I’m really pleased with them.
“The lads were brilliant and the quality of our play was good, and we have shown in recent weeks we are able to play at a really good level for 90 minutes.
“It was really good to get the win, score four goals and get another clean sheet as well.”
The highlight of the night was undoubtedly a goal for Stewart, and Lewtas was quick to pay tribute to the work that has gone on behind the scenes with the medical staff during the striker’s rehabilitation.
Lewtas added: “It was so nice to see Layton score as he has been out for a while.
“It was a great goal, a great finish and a different type of Layton goal, to be fair, with a shot from distance.
“The celebrations with the lads told its own story and it was lovely to see. It’s been a long road for him but he has done really well.
“Layton has worked so hard, and full credit to Paul Kelly and Scott McAuley, who have done a brilliant job with him to get him back.
“We had a strong midfield out with Tyler, Leighton Clarkson and Harvey – we are a top club and that is the level of players we have at this club.
“The likes of Harvey and Rhys Williams want to play and get their minutes, they want to stay sharp and if they are called upon by our manager, they want to be ready.
“It just shows the character that we have at this club. The lads want to play and they understand what they need to do to get to the next level.
“Harvey’s attitude and his performance, he is a credit to himself and a credit to the club as well.
“It was brilliant to see Jack score again and we are starting to see what a good footballer he is. He is in a good place.
“We play Manchester United next in our final Premier League 2 game of the season on Sunday at the Academy and we are looking forward to that.”
Liverpool U23s: Davies, Bradley, Beck (Quansah, 82), Williams, Koumetio, Clarkson, Bearne, Morton, Stewart (Balagizi, 61), Elliott (Corness, 46), Norris.
Unused substitutes: Kelly, Clayton.