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Liverpool U-21s v Spurs U-21s, 01.04.13
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


           Premier U-21 League, Elite Group
                 Anfield, Liverpool,
             Monday 1st April 2013, 2pm

             LIVERPOOL	 v     SPURS
             (All Red)      (All White)
               4-3-3           4-3-3

                1(0)            3(1)

          Peter Gulacsi  1  Lawrence Vigouroux
        Ryan McLaughlin	 2  Ryan Fredericks
           Craig Roddan	 3  Jack Barthram
           Stephen Sama	 4  Milos Veljkovic
            Lloyd Jones	 5  Grant Hall(C)
          Conor Coady(C) 6  Ezikiel Fryers
    Kristofer Petersson	 7  Kenneth McEvoy
          Joao Teixeira	 8  Laste Dombaxe
            Adam Morgan	 9  Shaquile Coulthirst
      Krisztian Adorjan	10  Nabil Bentaleb
             Jordan Ibe	11  Cristian Ceballos

            Yalany Baio	12  Jack Munns
                            (9)60Mins.
             Danny Ward	13  Liam Priestley
      Cameron Brannagan	14  Dominic Ball
              (8)65Mins.    (3)83Mins.
                  Nacho	15  Ruben Lameiras
             (10)46Mins.
          Henoc Mukendi	16  Roman Michael-Percil
                            (11)83Mins

Scorers:-
          Morgan 69         Ceballos 22, 51
                            McEvoy 88

Booked:-
         Teixeira 36(Foul)  Veljkovic 26(Foul) 
         Coady 90+3(Foul)

Coach:-
         A. Inglethorpe     T.Sherwood

Attendance:- 2,551

Referee:- M. Bristow

While the sun was shining, it was still a cold day, as Spurs came to this re-arranged game having let more players go out on loan reducing the options available. Some players who were in the U-18 team on Saturday were included for a second match in three days against Liverpool.

Spurs lined up with Hall and Fryers at the back with Fredericks at right back and Barthram on the left. Veljkovic sat in front of them anchoring the midfield trio with Dombaxe and Bentaleb. Coulthirst returned from injury to lead the attack with McEvoy on his right and Ceballos to his left.

Spurs kicked off attacking the Kop End, and were soon into their stride. Dombaxe fired wide and Bentaleb drew a save early on before Liverpool got in a cross from the right to Adorjan whose effort was blocked by Fredericks. Adorjan did draw a save from Vigouroux before Spurs were attacking again. A corner on the right by Ceballos was headed towards the far corner of the net by Coulthirst only to be tipped round the post by the keeper for another corner. That corner was only cleared to Dombaxe on the edge of the area but his low drive was saved by Gulacsi.

Spurs went in front when Bentalebís volley hit Coulthirst and spun out to the left where Ceballos picked it up and went past McLaughlan to the line and came in on the line to fire in a shot that went through the keeper and into the net.

The referee showed Veljkovic a yellow card for tripping Adorjan which seemed harsh as Teixeira had gone through the back of Bentaleb earlier without punishment. Adorjan fired over from a free kick before Vigouroux saved from Morgan. Teixeira was booked for obstructing Ceballos on one of his runs before the Spaniard fired wide when a centre by Dombaxe was cleared to him. Dombaxe saw his effort go wide of the far post for a corner just before half-time.

Liverpool made one change for the second half, bringing on Nacho to spark their midfield. However, it was Spurs who showed first when Veljkovic sent Barthram away down the left. His cross was headed home by Ceballos in the middle of the area.

Spurs kept up the pressure with a free kick by Ceballos which was saved by Gulacsi. A good run from just inside the Spurs half by McEvoy saw him play the ball into the advancing Coulthirst with a clear sight of goal. Unfortunately he fired over. Ceballos on the right then played Coulthirst in only for the striker to fire over again. McEvoy crossed for Coulthirst who laid the ball off to Barthram to hit it wide.

Spurs made their first change replacing Coulthirst with Munns. Ceballos hit a long range effort wide, before McEvoy set up Veljkovic for a chance that he put over. Liverpool found themselves back in it when a ball over the top caught the Spurs centre backs too far forward leaving Morgan with a clear run on goal. Vigouroux was out quickly but the striker went round him and the two covering defenders who had got back, to walk the ball in.

Straight after this, Liverpool almost drew level when Petersson angled his run behind the defence to receive the ball from Nacho. He turned and shot but the ball clipped the crossbar.

Liverpool began to believe they could turn the game around and took advantage of some hesitancy in the visitors to press them. Nacho played in Morgan for an effort that Vigouroux saved and then put in the corner kick for Teixeira to head over.

Spurs made a double substitution replacing the injuried Barthram with Ball who went into the middle allowing Fryers to move to left back and replacing Ceballos with Michael-Percil.

Michael-Percil was soon in the action winning the ball in midfield and laying it off to Dombaxe who played the ball out to the right for McEvoy. The winger set his sights and drove a low shot into the far corner of the net to re-open the two goal lead. Spurs looked comfortable but a mis-hit clearance fell to Ball who tried to head it back to a white shirt but Morgan nipped in to force a save from Vigouroux diving at his feet. Both players needed attention before the game resumed. That was about it from Liverpool who had Coady booked for a foul on Bentaleb. The final chance fell to Bentaleb who drew a save from Gulacsi just before the whistle.

This was a good all round performance from Spurs in a game I had expected to be very close. No player looked off form and as soon as the quick passing game began to flow they took charge leaving the Reds to chase for long periods.

The win extends Spurs lead at the top of the group and must surely ensure their place in the play-offs at the end of the season. Next Monday evening Spurs travel to Upton Park to play West Ham.

Ray

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