Liverpool U19s beat Napoli in Youth League opener

AcademyLiverpool U19s beat Napoli in Youth League opener

Published 7th September 2022
By Sam Williams

Liverpool U19s got their UEFA Youth League campaign up and running with a 2-1 victory over Napoli.

Ben Doak scored the first goal and set up a second-half winner for Oakley Cannonier soon after Gennaro Iaccarino had equalised with a penalty at the sweltering Stadio Giuseppe Piccolo.

Barry Lewtas’ team dominated large parts of Wednesday’s Group A opener but required a superb late save by Harvey Davies to preserve a fully deserved three points. 

The young Reds assumed control of the contest early on and boasted a constant threat out wide through the pace and directness of Doak and Trent Kone-Doherty.

Kone-Doherty was responsible for their first attempt, the winger looking to beat Claudio Turi at his near post only for the Napoli goalkeeper to save with his legs. 

There was nothing Turi could do to prevent Doak getting the goal Liverpool’s start merited just before the half-hour mark, though.

The 16-year-old picked the ball up on the right flank, drove in-field with menace and dispatched an excellent finish into the bottom corner.

Liverpool failed to ensure their performance was accurately reflected by the scoreline at the break, however, with their lead remaining at one – and Napoli emerged after the interval with far more vigour. 

Davies had to turn Antonio Pesce’s hit wide after the striker had sprung in behind the young Reds’ defence and the same two players were then involved in the penalty incident.

This time, Davies brought down Pesce after being rounded and Napoli captain Iaccarino fired home the subsequent spot-kick.

It appeared that the momentum had swung decisively in the hosts’ favour, but another moment of outstanding quality from Doak undid their comeback.

Doak drilled in a low cross after racing past Enrico Giannini inside the area and Cannonier’s dart to the near post was rewarded, the striker able to notch a typical poacher’s goal to restore Liverpool’s advantage.

Despite the visitors’ supremacy, Napoli should have snatched a draw with 10 minutes left.

Davies smothered Dylan De Pasquale’s header with a fine stop and the home team’s No.11 then somehow put the rebound wide from no more than a couple of yards out. 

Liverpool U19s: Davies, Mabaya, Quansah, Jonas, Chambers, Corness, McConnell, Frauendorf, Doak (Miles, 90), Kone-Doherty (Young, 88), Cannonier (Koumas, 69).

Unused substitutes: Hewitson, Onanuga, Osborne, Pennington.

Published 7th September 2022