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Liverpool academy sides both involved in 7-goal thrillers

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There was drama with the first-team at Brentford with six goals shared, and both Liverpool‘s under-18s and under-23s were involved in seven-goal games themselves.

Chelsea were the opposition for Barry Lewtas’ U23s on Friday evening, with both Conor Bradley and Tyler Morton in the XI merely days after their competitive debuts for the first team.

The right-back’s inspired run down the wing that saw his effort cleared off the line inside the first couple of minutes set the tempo for the clash, which the young Reds would agonisingly lose 4-3.

Mateusz Musialowski looked to have set an unassailable lead after halftime by scoring twice in the space of three minutes, with his first strikes at this level coming from either foot.

It came after Owen Beck’s opener was pegged back in the first 45 and with the scoreboard reading 3-1, Lewtas’ side were within reach of just their second win of their league season.

But by the 74th-minute scores were level and despite the Reds’ best efforts, it would be heartbreak as Lewis Hall headed home a 95th-minute winner to deny Liverpool any points.

Another harsh lesson but it was a notable outing for James Balagizi, who was an unused substitute at Norwich in the League Cup, having made his U23s debut.

KINGSTON-UPON-THAMES, ENGLAND - Friday, September 24, 2021: Liverpool's James Balagizi (R) and Chelsea's Lewis Hall during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Chelsea FC Under-23's and Liverpool FC Under-23's at the Kingsmeadow Stadium. Chelsea won 4-3. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Meanwhile, the U18s’ league fixture with Leeds was similarly as eventful with another seven-goal scoreboard come the end of the 90 minutes – but another not in Liverpool‘s favour.

It was a valiant display from Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s side after going down to 10-men early with midfielder Isaac Mabaya shown a straight red after an ill-timed sliding tackle.

Despite a hot start, a lack of a clinical edge was punished with Leeds up 2-0 before Oakley Cannonier pegged one back with his 11th goal in just six games, set up by 16-year-old Bobby Clark.

It provided a lifeline heading into the second half, one quickly taken away as by the 66th-minute it was 4-2, with defender Terence Miles adding a consolation late on with a tidy finish as Leeds saw out the game 5-2.

It sets up another big week in the academy alongside the first team, with a UEFA Youth League contest against Porto in midweek followed by a trip to meet Man United for the U23s.

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