Our under-18s battled from behind to win against Liverpool at Anfield in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup, thanks to goals from Robbie Burton, Bukayo Saka and Tyreece John-Jules.
Heading into the tie, Steven Gerrard’s Reds were unbeaten all season, while we were unbeaten in our last eight games.
We began the game well and five minutes in, Trae Coyle slipped through and forced a last-ditch block at the back.
Ten minutes later, we very nearly carved out the opener when Emile Smith Rowe raced down the left hand-side and squared the ball to John-Jules, who couldn’t quite apply the finishing touch.
Soon after, we did open the scoring through Burton, whose powerful strike from long range took a wicked deflection and flew past Vitezslav Jaros in goal.
The Reds raced up the other end, and if it wasn’t for the quick reflexes of Joao Virginia they would have drawn level through Edvard Tagseth.
After a lengthy spell where neither side created many opportunities, Liverpool found the equaliser that they had been searching for with a swift counter down our right flank that ended in Curtis Jones scoring.
Following the break, the Reds made us pay for some sloppy defending early on, as Jones’ cross was deflected past Virginia by Dominic Thompson.
John-Jules soon had the chance to level things up from close range, having been teed up by Smith Rowe once more, but again couldn’t make the contact he would have been hoping for.
With the full-time whistle edging ever closer, we struggled to create many chances apart from a speculative effort from distance by Vontae Daley-Campbell, which fizzed wide.
With just five minutes of the 90 remaining, Bukayo Saka provided the much needed urgency we were crying out for. The substitute blazed down the left hand-side, held off his man and blasted the ball in to equalise, sending us to extra time in fantastic style.
Smith Rowe continued to look dangerous as we headed into extra time, and almost fired us into the lead once more, when he exchanged the ball brilliantly with Thompson, but could only shoot over.
Now in the ascendancy, with Liverpool clearly lagging, Saka burst down the right and calmly placed the ball on a plate for John-Jules to tap home and put us back in front.
Despite their best efforts late on, the hosts weren’t able to find a leveller, as we left Anfield with a memorable win.
WHAT IT MEANS
We now move onto the last-16 of the FA Youth Cup.
We host Chelsea at London Colney, hoping to maintain our fine recent form and reduce the gap between ourselves and the league leaders.
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