Academy update: Liverpool’s Under-21s lose thriller to Chelsea

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Liverpool’s hopes of winning the Under-21 Premier League title suffered a blow on Thursday, as the Reds were beaten 4-3 by third place Chelsea in a thrilling game.

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Michael Beale’s side are now two points behind leaders Manchester United, who have a game in hand. We have just one game remaining of our season and are now likely to have to settle for third place.

Chelsea are only a point behind us and still have two games in hand. The FA Youth Cup and UEFA Youth League champions are now hopeful of completed an unprecedented treble.

However, we put up an excellent display against arguably the best academy team on the planet. Jerome Sinclair opened the scoring with his 23rd of the season, giving the Reds the perfect start.

Chelsea came roaring back, with Dominic Solanke scoring twice and Alex Kiwomya adding a third. Cameron Brannagan continued his fine run of form by pulling one back, before Harry Wilson came close to equalising, hitting the crossbar with a long-range effort.

Solanke complete his hat-trick as Chelsea hit us on the break, but there was still time for Wilson to ensure a tense finish with a close range finish in stoppage time.

Speaking after the game, Beale told our official website: “We started ever so well and deservedly went in front but we then found ourselves 3-1 down at half-time. I was disappointed with the goals we conceded but Solanke is a quality young player and he caused us problems.

“I have to say we were outstanding in the second half. We got it back to 3-2 and then we should have had a penalty when Harry was brought down and it would have been a sending-off for their defender. It wasn’t given and we just had to get on with it.

“We then created seven or eight great chances but just couldn’t score and they scored again through a brilliant finish from Solanke. Even in stoppage time we never gave up. Harry scored and then we should have had another penalty when Sheyi was brought down.

“I was proud of the lads tonight for the way we kept going and on another night these decisions go for you. Unfortunately they didn’t go our way tonight.”