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Sakho-inspired Liverpool overcome U23s

21 November 2016

Liverpool outfit too strong for Royals in Premier League 2

Reading U23s were beaten away from home against a strong Liverpool side in Premier League 2 on Sunday afternoon. A Reds side that included France international Mamadou Sakho were too much for Martin Kuhl’s side, with the £16 million defender giving Liverpool a first half lead.

The home side doubled their lead in the final ten minutes when Ben Woodburn tapped home from close range to put the game beyond doubt after late pressure from the Royals.

Liverpool started the game strongly with the Royals defending well from the outset managing to keep the home side out after dangerous crosses from both Brooks Lennon and Cameron Brannagan in the early stages.

Just as it seemed Reading had ridden the early wave of Liverpool pressure the hosts found the breakthrough thanks to 26-year-old defender Sakho. Ovie Ejaria’s well placed effort forced Luke Southwood into a fine save, but the ball fell fortuitously to the Frenchman who forced the ball home from close range.

The sides headed into the break with the score at 1-0 and Reading looking for a response in the second period. Just five minutes in to the second half Reading nearly had their equaliser through youngster Tyler Frost. His low effort at the back post sent Liverpool keeper Kamil Grabara scrambling, with the stopper just able to keep the strike out.

Reading looked to rally for a late onslaught on the Liverpool goal, after Brannagan hit the bar for the home side with 15 minutes remaining.  It wasn’t to be however as the Reds managed to find the all-important second to put the fixture beyond doubt with ten minutes left to play.

A Madger Gomes cross broke kindly for Woodburn who could hardly miss as he tapped the ball home from close range to wrap up a win for Liverpool at Prenton Park.

Full-time: Liverpool U23 2-0 Reading U23

Liverpool U23: Grabara, Whelan, Juanma, Ilori, Sakho, Stewart (Williams 45), Woodburn, Virtue, Lennon, Ejaria, Brannagan, (M Gomes 77).
Unused subs: Firth, Alves, T Gomes.

Reading U23: Southwood, Sheppard, Jules, Wieser, Cooper, Keown, Richards, Rinomhota, Novakovich, Barrett, Frost.
Unused subs: Scheving, Driscoll, Andresson, East, Smith.

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