U23s match reportLiverpool held by Chelsea as Harvey Elliott features
Liverpool U23s were held to a late 2-2 draw by Chelsea in Premier League 2 on Saturday lunchtime.
Barry Lewtas named a strong starting line-up with the most notable name coming in the form of Harvey Elliott, who featured for 45 minutes at the Academy.
The 18-year-old was heavily involved in the opening goal of the afternoon, pressing the visitors into a loose ball inside their own box in the 23rd minute.
Elliott raced in to steal possession and picked out James Norris to hand the young Reds a deserved lead following early dominance.
Liverpool were seeing the majority of the ball and added to the scoreline through Jack Bearne after Tyler Morton, Owen Beck and Conor Bradley all went close.
Marcelo Pitaluga was also forced into a rare save as Blues forward Jayden Wareham tested his reflexes from distance.
Bearne, though, produced a sublime run to cut inside and fire into the bottom corner.
Lewtas’ side were pressing well and almost had a third ahead of the half-time interval, seeing Elliott hit the bar from a low Beck cross after the full-back forced another mistake.
It was the last meaningful involvement of the afternoon for Elliott, who was replaced by Tom Clayton.
Liverpool went close through James Balagizi following the change of ends, though Chelsea came out strong and pulled one back on the hour.
Wareham pounced on a stray pass to drive in and square to substitute Joe Haigh and reduce the deficit.
Bearne twice forced goalkeeper Teddy Sharman-Lowe into strong saves in response as the Reds attempted to restore the two-goal advantage.
Pitaluga again produced a clever save to deny Haigh from range, throwing himself to his left to keep out a dipping effort.
Bearne then looked to get a second of the afternoon, rounding the onrushing Chelsea goalkeeper though his clipped finish from a tight angle fell the wrong side of the goal.
Liverpool looked to have done enough to claim all three points as the game entered added time.
The Blues, though, had the final say with Jude Soonsup-Bell volleying home brilliantly from a Lewis Hall cross.
Max Woltman almost won it deep into injury-time but the forward failed to connect properly with a volley as the spoils were shared.
Liverpool U23s: Pitaluga, Bradley, Beck, Williams, Koumetio, Clarkson, Balagizi (Woltman, 68), Morton, Bearne, Elliott (Clayton, 45), Norris (Corness, 85).
Unused subs: Quansah, Kelly.