Youth Cup Final First Leg: Liverpool 3-0 Manchester City

Posted by Rushian on April 14, 2006, 04:13:15 PM

Liverweb Youth Cup Final Match Report

Liverpool 3 Manchester City 0

Liverpool: Roberts, Darby (capt.), Hobbs, Antwi, Threlfall, Anderson, Barnett, Flynn, Barratt, Lindfield, Hammill

Subs: Hammill for Roque (76), Spearing for Flynn (87)

Subs Unused: Mimms, Nardiello, Ryan

Attendance: 12,744

The Reds took a giant step towards winning this years FA Youth Cup with a comfortable 3-0 win at Anfield. The scoreline could have been even higher as ll had it not been for the excellent form of Matthewson in the City goal.

The Reds got the game underway attacking the packed Kop end in the first half. It was City though who mounted the first kind of attack towards their travelling fans. Godwin Antwi stepped in though to clear the danger before it got near Dave Roberts.

On six minutes Robbie Threlfall got a little bit too excited with his free kick which he sent sailing up the Kop. Just over a minute later and City keeper Matthewson was given quite a poor back pass which he just managed to clear with Flynn bearing down on him.

The Reds were starting to settle down now in the game and boss the play. On nine minutes Lindfield set up Paul Anderson who saw his overhead kick go just wide of the goal. Charlie Barnett and Ryan Flynn were gaining control through the middle of the pitch and it was allowing some good build up play for the Reds on either side of the pitch.

On seventeen minutes the Reds were awarded a free kick out on the left. Charlie Barnett whipped this in superbly and Antwi saw the ball just cleared from his head for a corner ball. A very big piece of the night was down to the sheer quality of the set piece balls Barnett played in. From this corner he whipped in to the near post where Robbie Threlfall headed down and then stabbed home the loose bal. The lead was very much deserved for the Reds.

The goal seemed to put life in to City and they went straight on the attack and so nearly got the scores level straight away. Etuhu somehow couldn't get the definitive touch on the ball and the chance went begging. Midway through the half and the Reds were on the attack once again. Paul Barratt crossed in and Flynn set Anderson up but his shot was deflected out for a corner.

Minutes later and a very fast move from the Reds gained them great ground. Anderson was set free down the right side and he looked up and squared a great cross for Barratt but his shot from six yards out was straight at the keeper. A great opportunity gone begging.

Dave Roberts was called in to action on twenty seven minutes and it was great reflexes that helped him out this time. A corner ball fell to Etuhu twelve yards out and he shot through a bunch of players but Roberts managed to save the shot.

The Red were two goals to the good just after the half hour and it was a fine bit of play from Paul Anderson once again that made it. Anderson intercepted a ball out right and ran inside with it. As he thought about shooting he saw Ryan Flynn coming in and set him u and without breaking stride Flynn side footed the ball home past the keeper.

It nearly got better just two minutes later when Barratt put Lindfield in down the right and his cross to Hammill was flicked just over the bar. Six minutes before half time and the Reds were on the attack again and Threlfall crossed in from the left side to Anderson who volleyed on goal. Once again though the keeper pulled off a good save and the chance went begging.

The two sides came out for the second half and this had been pretty much one way traffic so far with the Reds threatening to walk away with the final in this leg alone. To their credit though City dug deep and played well in the second half without creating a shed load of chances.

The Reds continued to create good chances though and just two minutes in Paul Anderson saw his header well saved on the line and luckily cleared away. On fifty six minutes there was a wake up call for the Reds as Sturridge hit the outside of the post from six yards. The striker had more time than he realised as the Reds' defence seemed to be at sixes and sevens.

On sixty three minutes Dave Roberts was called in to action as he saved a City shot from the edge of the area. The shot took a deflection on the way so Roberts had to adjust quickly. As he has shown en route to the final though Roberts is a decent keeper.

On seventy one minutes there was a real scare for the Reds from a City corner. It didn't seem a worry to begin with as it dropped for Darby to clear. His clearance though cannoned off a City player and flew towards goal but Antwi cleared off the line. Having not cleared the area a second shot came in which Antwi again cleared off the line and then a third shot was tipped around the post by Roberts.

On seventy five minutes there was a spectacular effort from Anderson which deserved a goal. Barratt crossed a great ball in and Anderson managed to find some room. He acrobatically volleyed a side scissor kick and connected superbly only to see the ball hit the bar and go to safety. This would have been a cracking goal had it gone in.

Mike Roque came on for Adam Hammill on seventy six minutes as the Reds seemed to aim to close the game off a bit more and protect the two goal cushion. Hammill had faded out of the game a lot though and the change was needed.

The Reds made it three nil on eighty three minutes thanks to that sub Roque. He rose unmarked to head home another quality Barnett corner. That goal could be the one that makes the second leg that bit harder for City to come back in and on the night it was all the Reds deserved. They had played some great football at times and created tonnes of chances.

With three minutes to go Jay Spearing was introduced for the cramped up Ryan Flynn. Spearing walked straight on and did exactly what he does best and bossed every player in to specific roles.

As the final whistle sounded the Reds celebrated a great game and a great lead in the first leg of the final. With the second leg just a week away the Reds have time to work on some specific game plan to ensure Stephen Darby gets his hands on the FA Youth Cup.

© Andy Philip, Liverweb 2006

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