By Connor Armstrong at Anfield
Our under-23s came out on the wrong end of a five-goal thriller, as their three-game winning run came to an end with defeat against Liverpool.
Harry Wilson fired the hosts in front after just two minutes, with Stephy Mavididi levelling with a calm finish after some guile from Jeff Reine-Adelaide fooled the home defence.
Wilson restored the Reds’ advantage from the penalty spot when Macey was adjudged to have committed a foul, with Sheyi Ojo adding a third before the half-hour mark.
The Gunners did eventually strike back, but not until the 73rd minute, when Mavididi continued his recent good form by stroking a placed effort into the bottom-right corner.
There was to be no equaliser, condemning Steve Gatting’s side to a first Premier League 2 defeat since October 24.
SETTING THE SCENE
Gatting welcomed Macey back into the side, with Hugo Keto dropping to the bench.
The regular back four of Chiori Johnson, Krystian Bielik, Ben Sheaf and Marc Bola all started, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles returning to partner Ismael Bennacer in midfield.
Mavididi led our attack, supported by Reiss Nelson, Reine-Adelaide and Chris Willock.
The first half got off to a flying start, with both sides tied at 1-1 after just five minutes of play.
Wilson gave the hosts the lead in just the second minute after breaking through and lifting an effort past Macey.
The Gunners hit back almost immediately, with Mavididi rolling the ball home after combining with Reine-Adelaide.
However, the Reds were back in front after just 13 minutes after Wilson’s strike from the penalty spot, with Ojo scoring a third.
We were struggling to find the rhythm that had fuelled three consecutive wins in the run-up to this tie, with Gatting opting to replace Bennacer with Eddie Nketiah in order to facilitate a change.
We pulled one back in the 73rd minute, with Mavididi holding his nerve and taking his time before placing a finessed effort beyond the reach of Shamal George.
Nketiah went closest to levelling the scores when he connected with Willock’s whipped cross at the near post, but his effort was deflected behind for a corner.
There was one final chance in added time, but after drifting in from the left, Nelson could only curl a shot beyond the far post.
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