Match reportLiverpool U18s hit five past Newcastle in Premier League Cup
Liverpool U18s rounded off their Premier League Cup campaign with an impressive 5-1 victory over Newcastle United in Kirkby on Saturday afternoon.
Jayden Danns marked his return to competitive action with a double, while midfielder Ben Trueman celebrated his recent first professional contract with his first goal.
Keyrol Figueroa and Kieran Morrison completed the home scorers at the Academy, with Thomas Bryant providing a second-half consolation for the visitors.
Striker Danns had missed a couple of games through injury but took just four minutes to offer a reminder of the superb season he is delivering.
He did all the hard work himself, robbing a Newcastle defender, shifting it to create a favourable angle and drilling low across Adrian Janusz and into the net.
It continued his remarkable record of scoring in every U18s game he has played in this season and he was terrific throughout the contest.
The advantage was almost doubled a short time later when good pressure from Josh Sonni-Lambie saw Janusz almost play the ball into his own goal, his panicked clearance ending up only in the side-netting.
Figueroa was almost in on the half-hour mark as a clever pass from Danns set him away, though Janusz was swiftly out to the edge of the box to deny him.
Eight minutes later, though, the striker - back at the club after representing the USA at the U17 World Cup - had his goal.
Danns was involved again, making a fine run down the left to get the Reds into a dangerous position. The ball was recycled for Sonni-Lambie to cross for Figueroa to finish with a diving header.
And the hosts stretched their lead to three almost immediately. Newcastle gave the ball away near their own box and Danns offered a clever backheel for Trueman to close in on a defender, his clearance rebounding off the Liverpool player, and Danns made certain by tapping in from near the goalline to claim his 14th goal of the season.
Morrison only played the first 45 minutes but showed great technique throughout, one crossfield pass to Figueroa leaving the Kirkby crowd purring.
On the stroke of half-time, the Northern Ireland youth international produced a lovely piece of individual skill to make it four - his fifth goal of the season.
Morrison was trapped against the byline, but went past a defender along the touchline before cutting in and beating the goalkeeper at his near post.
After the interval, Danns collected a Francis Gyimah pass to try to grab his hat-trick but was eventually crowded out, prior to heading over from a Michael Laffey corner.
It had been a relatively quiet day for Reds goalkeeper Kornel Misciur but he produced one of the moments of the match after 56 minutes, tipping away a curling effort from Bryant that was heading straight into the top corner.
Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s team went straight down the other end in response, where Danns set up Figueroa, though his effort drifted just wide.
The fifth finally arrived 20 minutes from time, Trueman firing in from the edge of the box after good work from substitute Joe Upton and Danns.
Liverpool’s clean sheet lasted just another two minutes, however, with Bryant getting the goal he deserved by driving home off the post after Gyimah cleared from under his own bar.
Trueman was denied his second when he finished off a cutback from substitute Nathan Giblin only for the assistant referee to flag the latter for offside.
Misciur was needed to save well when Josh Donaldson picked up a loose lay-off, while the Newcastle substitute also volleyed over from a good position late on.
Results earlier in the competition mean the young Reds won’t progress to the knockout stages, but they finished in style, with Bridge-Wilkinson telling Liverpoolfc.com: “Overall, a pleasing performance and it was nice to go 4-0 up in the opening half.
“We’d like not to have conceded and kept the clean sheet, but overall Newcastle played well enough to deserve a goal.
“As always, there were positives for us, great to see Dannsy back with a couple of goals and Figgy [Figueroa] back from the U17 World Cup with the USA also on the scoresheet.”
Liverpool U18s: Misciur, Pitt, Gyimah, Lucky (Furnell-Gill, 79), Kelly, Laffey, Sonni-Lambie, Morrison (Upton, 46), Danns, B. Trueman, Figueroa (Giblin, 72)
Unused subs: R. Trueman, Evers.
The Reds return to U18 Premier League North action next Saturday (December 2) when they welcome Manchester City to the Kirkby Academy.
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