Match reportLiverpool U19s beat Atletico Madrid in Youth League
Liverpool U19s moved into second place in UEFA Youth League Group B by beating Atletico Madrid 2-0 at the Academy.
An outstanding display enabled the young Reds to dominate Wednesday’s match from first whistle to last, with second-half goals by Max Woltman and Jarell Quansah settling the contest in their favour.
Woltman – who had a penalty saved by Antonio Gomis in the first half – opened the scoring with a clinical 64th-minute finish, with captain Quansah quickly doubling the advantage via some nifty footwork while he was up from defence for a corner.
The victory puts Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s side on seven points from four matches; three above Atletico and three behind pool leaders FC Porto, who they entertain in their next game later this month.
A positive, proactive start from Liverpool, who were supported from the sidelines by James Milner, saw concerted pressure being applied on Atletico’s defence.
And, with 25 minutes on the clock, a clumsy challenge by Ibrahima Camara on James Balagizi resulted in a spot-kick being awarded, only for visiting goalkeeper Gomis to guess correctly and palm Woltman’s effort away.
The hosts were undeterred, however, and sustained their total control of proceedings.
The unmarked Billy Koumetio nodded James Norris’ corner off target, before the returning Kaide Gordon dragged his shot wide from a tight angle after being found by Luca Stephenson’s lofted pass.
Melkamu Frauendorf then spurned a wonderful opportunity on the stroke of half-time - the forward volleying Woltman’s flick-on into the side-netting following a clever corner routine - to ensure Atletico somehow made it to the break unscathed.
Bridge-Wilkinson’s team continued their front-foot approach in the early stages of the second half and it felt like a matter of time before they took the lead.
Owen Beck shot over the crossbar and Gomis again thwarted Woltman when the striker swivelled and sent a low shot goalwards from close range.
But the breakthrough eventually arrived midway through the second half, as Woltman finally got the better of Gomis.
Koumetio strode forward confidently and fizzed a pass into the feet of Woltman, who took a superb first touch prior to dispatching calmly into the bottom corner.
Gomis then made a couple more saves to frustrate Frauendorf and Balagizi, but the young Reds got the second goal their performance deserved with 20 minutes remaining as Quansah showcased brilliant quick feet to convert the loose ball after Atletico failed to clear a corner.
Koumetio had a header cleared off the goalline late on, but Liverpool’s work was done as they claimed a vital three points.
Liverpool U19s: Mrozek, Bradley, Quansah, Koumetio, Beck, Stephenson, Balagizi, Norris (Corness, 86), Gordon (Blair, 46 (Cannonier, 86)), Frauendorf, Woltman.
Unused substitutes: Hewitson, Musialowski, Chambers, Bajcetic.