U23s match reportLiverpool surge to 7-1 win over Tottenham
Liverpool U23s produced an emphatic display at the Academy to comprehensively defeat their Tottenham Hotspur counterparts 7-1 on Saturday afternoon.
The Premier League 2 game was all-but over by half-time as Barry Lewtas’ side went in five goals ahead at the break, and they added another two during the second period after the visitors had briefly reduced their deficit.
Goals were shared around, with Leighton Clarkson expertly converting two penalties while Conor Bradley, Max Woltman, James Norris, Jack Bearne and substitute Fidel O’Rourke also found the net.
The Liverpool teamsheet looked strong; Tyler Morton operated alongside Clarkson and Tom Clayton in midfield, while Rhys Williams and Billy Koumetio anchored the team from centre-back.
Woltman and Clayton had already been denied before the home side took the lead on 18 minutes.
The Reds won the ball high up the pitch and Clarkson’s fine pass put Woltman away on the right. The young striker turned back inside and cut a perfect ball back to raiding full-back Bradley, who fired low into the net.
Clarkson was again involved in the second, showing fine skill on the left and playing a ball into the box that eventually reached Woltman. He turned well and showed good determination to come through a challenge and slot low past Spurs goalkeeper Joshua Oluwayemi with 26 minutes on the clock.
Liverpool made it three just before the half-hour mark. Norris has been in fine form and when he burst into the left side of the area, he had no hesitation in striking a finish across the ’keeper for a classy third.
Koumetio’s long passing was impressive and he put Woltman in on goal a short time later with a ball over the top, but Oluwayemi came out well to gather a lofted effort.
Spurs had looked powerless to stop the red wave but belatedly stirred down their right-hand side. J’Neil Bennett fired a good ball right across goal but no-one could reach it to turn it home.
The Reds were not going to settle for three, though, and two penalties helped them stretch their lead to five before the interval.
First, Oluwayemi made a good save to deny Mateusz Musialowski but was found to have clipped Bearne as the winger nipped in to claim the rebound.
Clarkson stepped up to finish with 10 minutes to go in the half, and did so again in added time after a Spurs player was rather harshly judged to have handled a cross after a corner for the hosts was not properly cleared.
The away side improved after the break and reduced the deficit through Bennett on 54 minutes, the winger cutting in from the right and beating Marcelo Pitaluga.
The Reds goalkeeper then did well to deny Jamie Donley after a chipped pass over the defence had put the Spurs man in on goal, but Liverpool continued to be a threat and made it six on 66 minutes.
Williams made an excellent interception at the back and the ball moved forward to Clayton, whose lovely pass allowed Bearne to stand up the final defender and fire low across Oluwayemi.
Clayton next turned tricky winger to beat his man and deliver dangerously into the box, where Musialowski lashed wide when the goalkeeper parried the ball into his path.
Lewtas’ charges were threatening with every attack now and an outside-of-the-foot pass from Morton allowed Clarkson to beat the offside trap and bear down on goal, only for Oluwayemi to save well.
Two minutes from time, Liverpool bagged their seventh, though; a good pass from substitute Dominic Corness was initially cut out but then picked up and finished by fellow replacement O’Rourke.
Liverpool U23s: Pitaluga, Bradley (Quansah, 74), Norris, Williams, Koumetio, Clarkson, Bearne, Morton, Woltman (O’Rourke, 79), Clayton, Musialowski (Corness, 81).
Unused substitutes: Kelly, Wilson.