U23 Report: Saints 2-2 Liverpool

By SFC Media Mon 10 Apr Saints U23 vs Liverpool U23
Photo by Naomi Baker | Saints celebrate
Mon 10 Apr 7.00PM
Premier League 2
Southampton
2
Liverpool
2
Jones [30'] Olomola [69']
Wilson [76' 90']
Referee: Adam Bromley | Venue: St Mary's Stadium | Attendance: 0

Southampton Under-23s suffered late heartbreak at St Mary's against Liverpool in the Premier League 2.

Alfie Jones gave Saints a much-deserved lead in the first half with a neat finish from close range, before Olufela Olomola then netted in the second after Callum Slattery latched onto a loose ball across the Liverpool backline.

The visitors fought back and netted on 76 minutes through Harry Wilson before the Liverpool captain then tucked in a rebound from a saved penalty on 90 minutes to ensure a share of the points.

Radhi Jaïdi’s men started brightly and created the first meaningful chance of the game within the opening seconds. Josh Sims cut in from the left and curled towards Caoimhin Kelleher’s far post, but his shot fell just wide.

The visitors were really struggling to deal with Sims at this point. He skipped through once again just moments later and unselfishly slipped in Ryan Seager, but his strike was parried behind.

Sims then switched onto the right flank and after a matter of seconds created another opportunity. Darting infield he found plenty of space and rifled a warning sign over the crossbar.

It took Liverpool until the 20-minute mark to create their first chance of the evening, as a swift counter attack resulted in Harry Wilson lashes a 25-yard effort wide of Mouez Hassen’s near post.

Saints responded with two long distance effort of their own through Harrison Reed and Callum Slattery, but both were easily held by Kelleher.

The breakthrough eventually came on the half-hour mark. Seager bundled Jeremy Pied’s teasing cross towards goal before Jones then followed up to tuck the rebound neatly into the Liverpool net to give Saints the lead before the break.

Alfie Jones slots in the opener against Liverpool.

Liverpool came out with more attacking intent after the interval and soon came close. Rhian Brewster worked space on the edge of the penalty area and slammed the ball towards goal, but it flew well wide of Hassen’s post.

On the hour mark Saints made the first substitution of the evening, as Jeremy Pied made way for fellow right-back Yan Valery.

Brewster then had another chance to level for the visitors. The ball dropped to the 16-year-old just yards from goal, but he snatched at the effort and put it over from close range.

Saints would soon make Liverpool rue their missed opportunities. Slattery pounced on a loose pass across the backline and played in Olomola on the right of the area, who then struck cleanly into the opposite corner to double the advantage.

It was almost three just one minute later. Olomola this time delivered the cross it the area and Seager’s header bounced clear off the post before Sims’ rebound strike was then blocked at the vital moment.

On 76 minutes the visitors found a way back into the match, as Harry Wilson latched onto a deft pass and finished neatly over Hassen to pull one back.

Saints looked as if they would see the encounter out, but Wilson beat Sam McQueen to a ball in the penalty area and referee Adam Bromley pointed to the spot.

Wilson then stepped up and saw his spot kick well saved by Hassen, but the Liverpool captain was on hand to slot in the rebound and win his side a share of the points.

Southampton

1
Mouez Hassen (GK)
2
Jeremy Pied
Yan Valery (61′)
3
Sam McQueen
4
Harrison Reed (C)
5
Ollie Cook
6
Martin Caceres
7
Olufela Olomola
Marcus Barnes (84′)
8
Alfie Jones
9
Ryan Seager
10
Callum Slattery
11
Josh Sims
13
Kingsley Latham
12
Yan Valery
14
Armani Little
15
Michael Obafemi
16
Marcus Barnes

Liverpool

1
Caoimhin Kelleher (GK)
2
Corey Whelan
3
Connor Randall
4
Nat Phillips
Sam Hart (65′)
5
Connor Masterson
6
Jordan Williams
7
Harry Wilson (C)
8
Matt Virtue
9
Rhian Brewster
10
Paulo Alves
Yan Dhanda (74′)
11
Kevin Stewart
13
Andy Firth
12
Yan Dhanda
14
Madger Gomes
15
Sam Hart
16
Toni Gomes
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