In front of the watching Jurgen Klopp, the young Reds ran out 3-1 winners at Anfield to set up a meeting with Ipswich in the last four Liverpool booked their place in the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup after a 3-1 win over Arsenal at Anfield.
In front of the watching Jurgen Klopp, goals from Max Woltman, James Norris and Mateusz Musialowski did the damage for Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s side, who will now be away to Ipswich in the last four.
Miguel Azeez pulled a goal back from the penalty spot for the Gunners, but this was a professional performance from the young Reds, who will fancy their chances of going all the way again, having won the competition under Barry Lewtas in 2019. Editors’ Picks
How did the game pan out?After a low-key start, Liverpool took control of the game midway through the first half, with the lively Woltman notching his 13th goal of the season, and his 10th in his last eight appearances.
It was a fine finish too, steered home calmly on his left foot after James Balagizi had nodded down Conor Bradley’s back-post cross, after a spell of sustained pressure from the home side.
Arsenal had started brightly, but they looked vulnerable whenever Liverpool attacked and the Reds doubled their lead from the penalty spot on 35 minutes.
Tyler Morton was the man fouled, upended by Gunners midfielder Azeez, allowing Norris to convert with authority from 12 yards for 2-0.
The third came just six minutes into the second half, the silky Balagizi able to carry the ball through midfield and feed Musialowski, who twisted his defender inside out before finishing clinically on his left foot.
Arsenal pulled one back when Billy Koumetio fouled Khayon Edwards, with Azeez smashing home from the spot, and Ken Gillard’s side came on strong in the closing stages, dominating the ball without finding another breakthrough.
Who stood out for Liverpool?Bridge-Wilkinson’s side came into the game in excellent goalscoring form, and it was hard not to be impressed by their attacking trio here.
Woltman’s sharpness and touch stood out, and he took his goal superbly, while the gifted Balagizi finished with two assists, playing with awareness and composure throughout.
Musialowski, meanwhile, looks one to watch closely. The Polish youth international’s first touch and speed with the ball is of an extremely high level, and like Woltman he took his goal with real class.
Liverpool undoubtedly benefited from the presence of Koumetio at centre-back, with the Frenchman showing why Klopp and his staff are so enthused by his potential. Koumetio was penalised for the Arsenal penalty, but generally looked a class apart with his passing, and was dominant in the air throughout. Alongside him, captain Jarell Quansah defended his box well, particularly in the second half as Arsenal pushed.
There were other lively performances, with Norris classy at left-back and the unfussy Luca Stephenson performing an important role screening in midfield. Goalkeeper Harvey Davies, too, did everything that was needed of him.