It was an end-to-end thriller in the UEFA Youth League, which saw Liverpool come out on top against Rangers despite having ten men for the last third of the game.
There was an abundance of attacking talent on display throughout the afternoon, especially from Ben Doak and Oakley Cannonier who helped Liverpool grab their goals and maintain their 100% record in Group A.
With only five minutes on the clock, James McConnell played a sizzling through ball to Ben Doak in plenty of space, only for his finish to be too close to Jacob Pazikas letting Rangers regain possession.
Shortly after this, the away side capitalised through Cannonier. Doak took on three defenders to squeeze his way into the box, giving himself enough space to hit the target. The 16-year-old saw his effort saved by Pazikas, but Cannonier was there to pass the ball into the empty net.
Four minutes later, Robbie Fraser played an inviting cross towards the edge of the box, which found Zak Lovelace. The striker managed to take the ball past Harvey Davies, forcing the shot-stopper to bring the Rangers attacker to ground, leaving the referee no choice but to award Rangers with a penalty.
Charlie Lindsay was the man to step up to the spot and he emphatically smashed his effort into the bottom left corner giving Davies little chance of saving, despite guessing the right way.
With almost 20 minutes played, Liverpool started to gather numbers on the edge of the box. Bobby Clark played the killer pass across the box to pick out Melkamu Frauendorf, who was able to lift his head and slot his effort into the bottom right-hand corner ensuring Liverpool regained the lead.
On the half-hour mark Rangers charged forward on a counterattack with Lovelace who excellently covered 20 yards of the pitch and slipped through Connor Allan who saw his shot blocked by Davies, only for Robbie Ure to head wide from four yards out.
From one counterattack to another, Doak was able to steal the ball from Aaron Lyall on the edge of his own box, spearheading Liverpool’s ascendence up the pitch. He picked out Cannonier who made a darting run into the Rangers half and after seeing his first shot blocked, calmly passed the ball into the goal.
Nonstop action followed after the break, with Ure quickly through on goal after latching onto a loose ball. The Rangers forward was taken out by a seedy challenge from Lee Jonas 30 yards out, giving the referee no other choice but to send him off.
With some excellent close-control dribbling, Lyall was able to create space within the box and beat three players, before striking his effort into the left corner, to give Rangers a glimmer of hope.
Zak Lovelace once again found himself one on one against McLoughlin-Miles and beat him with his sheer pace. He was able to get a shot away at goal but saw his effort ricochet against the post. Fortunately for Rangers, Ure was alert and tucked away the rebound with ease, making it 3-3 with 28 minutes to go.
Ten minutes later, Doak was isolated in the corner with no options ahead for Liverpool. He took on four Rangers players on his own miraculously well and attempted a trivial shot which nestled into the bottom left corner giving Liverpool the lead once again and completing the scoring for the English side.
Rangers Player of the Match: Zak Lovelace
The striker was a constant threat down the left flank for Rangers, he was the chief creator for them and fashioned many openings for his teammates to convert. An inspiring performance from the 16-year-old.
Liverpool Player of the Match: Ben Doak
A recent record breaker for the Scotland youth team, he was a class. From creating chances, scoring and drawing fouls he had it all. An all-round excellent performance from Doak, who was at times untouchable for Liverpool.
Rangers Magic Moment:
Deep into the first half, Lovelace had an “if only” moment, with a strong pass played into his feet Lovelace flicked the ball around the opposing defender, running after it, but unfortunately saw his clever move gathered by Davies, preventing him from scoring an outstanding goal.
Liverpool Magic Moment:
Doak’s late winner was something special and he made it look easy. The sixteen-year-old produced an excellent run and exquisite finish to secure his team the three points. His family were also there to cheer him on from the side after his goal, filling the young attacker with immense pride.
1 Jacob Pazikas
2 Jack Harkness
3 Robbie Fraser
4 Grieg Allen
5 Lewis MacKinnon
6 Bailey Rice
7 Zakariya Lovelace
8 Connor Allan
9 Robbie Ure
10 Charlie Lindsay
11 Aaron Lyall
21 Mason Munn
12 Kelsey Ewen
14 Mackenzie Strachan
15 Paul Nsio
16 Tyler Pasnik
17 James Graham
18 Connor Young
1 Harvey Davies
2 Terence McLoughlin-Miles
3 Luke Chambers
4 Jarrell Quansah
5 Lee Jones
6 Dominic Corness
7 Ben Doak
8 Bobby Clark
9 Oakley Cannonier
10 James McConnell
11 Melkamu Frauendorf
12 Lewis Koumas
13 Luke Hewitson
14 Charlie Hayes-Green
15 Tommy Pilling
16 Ranel Young
17 Trent Kone-Doherty
18 Francis Gymiah
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