Liverpool is gaining a new European reputation thanks to the plaudits of a ‘outstanding’ defender.
In the opinion of visiting teams, European nights at Anfield have long carried a dreadful reputation.
However, it appears that Liverpool is now ensuring that Academy afternoons are included in the schedule.
An under-19s side romped to a 4-0 victory over Porto on Wednesday, giving the Reds control of their UEFA Youth League fate.
It was Liverpool’s third consecutive win in the competition at Kirkby without conceding a goal, following victories over AC Milan and Atletico Madrid.
With a win in Milan in a fortnight, they will guarantee their place in the knockout stages.
As the Liverpool transfer issue appears to be resolved, Kaide Gordon is reminded.
Thiago was “outstanding” against Porto, while one Liverpool player was “nervous and severely off the pace.” Liverpool’s probable Champions League round of 16 opponents are currently unknown.
On the strength of their head-to-head record, the youthful Reds have gone over Porto at the top of Group B, with Atletico three points behind in third.
Dom Corness scored first, followed by Stefan Bajcetic, Max Woltman, and James Norris in a one-sided second half.
“To score four goals against a club of that caliber is incredibly rewarding,” says coach Marc Bridge-Wilkinson. Also, a fresh sheet.
“When you first enter this league, you hope to do well in your home games, and then you figure out a method to get something out of the away games.”
“It’s incredibly satisfying that we’ve had three home games and won three of them.”
While Porto had plenty of possession in the first half, they were kept at bay in the second half before being outplayed.
“We talk a lot about that in both U23s and U18s,” Bridge-Wilkinson says of the control Liverpool imposed before the break. That is something that the first team does as well.
“It’s something we try to do with both Academy teams on a weekly basis, and it’s a consistent message when we get together and mingle.”
“Stefan Bajcetic was excellent, Chuck Norris was excellent, and Owen Beck was outstanding.”
Following being released from the first-team squad on Tuesday evening after practicing with the seniors, Beck and Conor Bradley were both made eligible for participation.
Bridge-Wilkinson is impressed by the duo’s ability to adjust to a new situation. “The summary has come to an end.”