AcademyU21s reaction: 'The lads stuck together - we did what we had to do'

By Steve Hunter


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Barry Lewtas highlighted the finishing qualities of Layton Stewart after the striker stepped off the bench to net the winner for Liverpool U21s at Arsenal on Monday night.

In a tight Premier League 2 encounter, which saw the Reds reduced to 10 men after 54 minutes following the dismissal of Lee Jonas, the visitors secured a spirited three points thanks to a late 1-0 victory.

Stewart, who was previously out for more than 13 months with an ACL injury, netted for the second successive weekend following a comeback goal after a knock against Leicester City.

The Scouse forward took his tally to nine strikes for the season as Lewtas’ charges moved up to third place in the division.

“It was a great win for us and I was proud of the lads, especially after going down to 10 men,” Lewtas told “The lads stuck together and, in the end, we did what we had to do.

“It was great to see Layton get the winner for us. We had planned to get him on the pitch a little bit earlier but the red card disrupted that.

“It was a fantastic goal, a lovely pass, great movement from Layton and he stuck it away.

“We are trying to get him back up to full speed again after he picked up a knock before Christmas. But he is someone who knows where the goal is and he is a real threat for us.”

Lewtas was also happy to welcome James Norris back from injury, a player who similarly played a crucial role in the win from the bench.

"James was brilliant,” he added. “When you are down to 10 men, it’s great to have someone like James sitting behind me and I brought him straight on.

“He offers a lot to the team in terms of quality and also in terms of effort and game understanding, which was massive for us in that last half-hour.”

The U21s head coach also hailed the character of his side after they regrouped following the dismissal of Jonas.

He added: “I thought Lee’s sending-off was harsh because it was shoulder to shoulder, so that was disappointing. But it is what it is and we got on with it.

“We work really hard, we knew there was certain parts of our game we needed to tweak but we have continued to be offensively strong.

“This was a really good team performance but also some fantastic individual performances as well.

"I could name them all, from Luca Stephenson finishing the game at centre-back, Billy Koumetio and Owen Beck were superb – all of them – I don’t want to single anyone out.”



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