AcademyLFC U19s thrash Napoli 5-0 to seal Youth League progress
Liverpool U19s secured automatic qualification for the last 16 of the UEFA Youth League with a comprehensive 5-0 win over Napoli at the Academy.
The young Reds went into matchday six knowing a draw would be sufficient to win Group A and duly produced a rampant display to rout the visitors and post a final points tally of 15.
Goals from Lewis Koumas, Ben Doak and Luke Chambers put the hosts – managed by Marc Bridge-Wilkinson with Barry Lewtas absent following planned surgery – three up before the hour and Trent Kone-Doherty got a quickfire brace soon after.
Liverpool were immediately on the front foot, with Doak to the fore.
Koumas was unable to convert early on after a lightning-quick give-and-go between Doak and Melkamu Frauendorf, but the No.9 got his goal with a predatory header around the half-hour mark.
Frauendorf’s shot, after he’d been picked out by Chambers, was going wide but Koumas instinctively redirected the ball into the net.
Chambers then saw a shot cleared off the line and the young Reds had to make do with a slender lead at the break.
But Bridge-Wilkinson’s team moved through the gears in the early stages of the second half, when a devastating 15-minute spell yielded four goals.
Napoli simply could not contain Doak and the Scot got the goal his performance deserved when he drove at Enrico Giannini, dipped outside onto his right foot and blasted an unstoppable hit into the far bottom corner.
Confidence coursed through Liverpool thereafter and Doak was again involved in the third goal, the No.7 teeing up Chambers after a short corner and the left-back dispatching a low, precise strike from 20 yards.
Kone-Doherty then notched twice in three minutes.
His first was earned by him following up and converting after Frauendorf’s effort had been saved, while his second was all about his individual quality.
Kone-Doherty collected Lee Jonas’ pass, raced past Pasquale Pontillo and clipped a lovely finish over the goalkeeper from a tight angle.
With the job well done, Liverpool took their foot off the accelerator and eased their way through the rest of the game and can now look forward to continuing their Youth League journey in the new year.
Liverpool U19s: Davies, Miles, Jonas, Quansah, Chambers, McConnell, Frauendorf (Pilling, 67), Clark (Gyimah, 74), Kone-Doherty (Young, 79), Doak, Koumas.
Unused subs: Hewitson, Danns, Samuels, Giblin.