Burton Albion under 18s fell to a defeat to Liverpool as the Reds won their first match under Steven Gerrard 7-0.
The Brewers, who had won their previous two pre-season matches, found themselves a goal down after six minutes when Liverpool capped off a fine move with a goal. The Reds doubled their advantage on 13 minutes when a driven low cross found the net after hitting a Burton defender.
Liverpool added their third before the half-hour mark when an effort from the edge of the box cannoned in off the post. Luke Tandy saw a header saved from a Tristan Matthews cross before Liverpool added a fourth when a deflected effort wrong-footed Callum Hawkins in the Burton goal.
Gerrard’s side scored their fifth from the penalty spot moments before half-time. The Reds added two more within the first eight minutes of the second-half. Burton were much improved in the second-45 minutes and could feel that they should have scored on a number of occasions.
Burton had an effort cleared off the line after a free-kick caused a melee in the box. Then, on the hour-mark, Burton had two big chances. First Jack Bromfield forced a save from range after a driving run from Charlie Dowd put pressure on the Liverpool defence. Jake Davies then saw a good effort saved after some tenacious play in the final-third from the Brewers.
James Harrison had an effort tipped onto the bar from long range and Jack Hallahan saw a shot fly just past the post. Ten minutes from time, Dowd ran clear on a counter-attack and found Davies in the box but the striker saw his shot well saved.
Under 18s coach Sam Rose believes that the game has provided invaluable experience for his players.
“It was a fantastic experience for everyone involved and it was a good chance to showcase how far the Academy has come. It is a difficult result to take for everyone involved, the players are particularly disappointed, but we created a number of chances and played some good football, at times, against one of the best academies in the country, if not in Europe. It was a positive learning experience for us and a chance to gauge where we are and to identify things that we can improve on. Hopefully the group can use today as a marker for success, they have been exposed to the level that is required to play at the top tier of Academy football.
“The second-half was much better, we changed the shape and it gave us more of a chance to press the ball and try to stop Liverpool having so much of the possession and from then on we really should have scored 3 or 4 goals from the chances we created.
“We thank Liverpool FC and St George's Park for making today possible. It's onwards and upwards for Burton Albion Academy, we will use experiences like to today to drive us forward.”