Spurs Under 23’s 2-1 Liverpool: (match report)

Wayne Burnett’s Spurs Under 23 side welcomed Liverpool to The Lamex Stadium on Saturday afternoon, in what was their fourth Premier League 2 match of the new season. Spurs deservedly won the match 2-1, and on another day they could have won it by a lot more. Joshua Oluwayemi started in goal while a back four of Matthew Craig, Marqes Muir, Malachi Fagan-Walcott and Kallum Cesay lined up in front of him. Captain Brooklyn Lyons-Foster and Harvey White started in midfield, and Jack Clarke and Alfie Devine started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Nile John. Yago Santiago led the line in the absence of Dilan Markanday and Dane Scarlett. Liverpool got the game underway, and it was actually from their first real chance of the game that they took the lead. Kaide Gordon received a long pass out to him on the right flank, and the winger then came inside before finding the bottom right hand corner of Oluwayemi’s goal, despite the Spurs goalkeeper managing to get a hand on the ball, 0-1. Spurs tried to respond, and Jack Clarke hit an effort wide across the face of the Liverpool goal from the right hand side of the Liverpool box. Then Mateusz Musialowski hit an effort narrowly wide of Oluwayemi’s goal from just outside of the Spurs box. Spurs came close again to getting an equaliser though, as Clarke received Nile John’s pass down the right side of the Liverpool box, but again he hit the ball just wide, across the face of the goal.

Harvey White had an effort from a free-kick deflected behind, and then from Harvey White’s following corner kick Alfie Devine managed to meet the ball, but his header was pushed onto the crossbar by Marcelo Pitaluga. After a great run from Yago Santiago, which saw him go past Liverpool defender Billy Koumetio, the former Celta Vigo player had an effort on goal saved by Pitaluga, before Devine hit the ball over the goal from close range on the half volley. A brilliant forward run from left-back Kallum Cesay ended in him having an effort on goal blocked by Dominic Corness, before Spurs finally managed to get their equaliser. Nile John passed the ball to Devine, who managed to work his way towards the edge of the Liverpool box, before then powerfully hitting the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 1-1. Clarke then had an effort blocked behind before a good move which started with the former Leeds United player passing the ball to Santiago on the right flank, ended with Santiago’s cross being met by John in the Liverpool box. However, his effort was saved by Marcelo Pitaluga, in what was the final piece of action from the first half. Spurs got the second half underway, and they almost got off to a great start. After Devine found Harvey White down the left of the Liverpool box, the Spurs midfielder hit the ball across the Liverpool goal and just wide.

Lyons-Foster hit a low effort wide from distance, before Jack Clarke had an effort blocked. Oluwayemi was able to save Jack Bearne’s effort at his back post, and then at the other end of the pitch Lyons-Foster headed over Harvey White’s corner kick. Owen Beck then hit the ball over the Spurs goal from distance, before Fagan-Walcott blocked Tyler Morton’s low effort on goal. Rafferty Pedder came on to replace Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, and went up front as Yago Santiago replaced Michael Craig. Kallum Cesay was shown a yellow card by the referee, before Rafferty Pedder was given the ball by Tyler Morton, and he went forward with it towards the edge of the Liverpool box, but ended up hitting the ball over the goal. Jack Clarke was shown a yellow card as Spurs went in search of the winner, and that winner came almost ten minutes from the end. Alfie Devine managed to latch onto Jack Clarke’s through-ball pass. Devine entered the Liverpool box where he was met by Marcelo Pitaluga, but he showed great composure in front of goal to just deftly put the ball over the Liverpool goalkeeper and into the back of the goal, 2-1. Devine had a very late effort deflected behind for a corner kick, in what was the final piece of action of the game. Next up for Spurs is a trip up to Lancashire to face Blackburn Rovers next Friday. I will be attending that game.

Player reviews: 

  • Joshua Oluwayemi: The Spurs goalkeeper really didn’t have that much to do against Liverpool apart from one important save that he made in the first half of the game.
  • Matthew Craig: Despite playing out of position at right-back, midfielder Matthew Craig did well in my opinion against winger Mateusz Musialowski, during his time on the pitch.
  • Marqes Muir: The right sided centre-half read the game well and also dealt well with Liverpool centre-forward Max Woltman, alongside Malachi Fagan-Walcott.
  • Malachi Fagan-Walcott: A composed but assertive defensive performance from the left sided centre-half on Saturday against Liverpool, made it difficult for the Liverpool forwards on the day.
  • Kallum Cesay: Playing at left-back Kallum Cesay got forward really well down the left-flank, and some of his very skilful forward runs were excellent.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: The Spurs captain in my opinion did very well in central midfield. His passing and positioning was good, and he protected the defence well during his time on the pitch.
  • Harvey White: The midfielders passing from midfield was as good as always, and also he made some clever forward runs from midfield, and came very close to scoring a goal at the beginning of the second half.
  • Jack Clarke: This was another good performance from Jack Clarke on the right flank. Clarke was direct with the ball, showed some good pace and skill with it and also tracked back well. Clarke got the assist for Alfie Devine’s winning goal.
  • Nile John: The CAM completed most of the game, and he went on some good forward runs with the ball. John got the assist for Alfie Devine’s first goal of the game.
  • Alfie Devine: My man of the match, see below.
  • Yago Santiago: Playing as a centre-forward, Yago Santiago pressed the Liverpool defenders excellently during his time on the pitch. He also showed nice skill on the ball, and traveled forward well with it.
  • Rafferty Pedder: The second half substitute went to play at centre-forward, and apart from the chance which he had, which he created, I thought that he worked really hard off the ball.
  • Michael Craig: The midfielder came on to fill in for Brooklyn Lyons-Foster in midfield, and he stopped one potentially good chance for the away side during his time on the pitch.
  • Maksim Paskotši: The defender came on during the final minutes of the game to replace Nile John.

My man of the match: Alfie Devine. The midfielder turned left-winger for Saturday’s match, had a very good game against Liverpool. Devine’s movement off the ball and runs behind the Liverpool defence on occasions were quality, and he took both of his goals on the day excellently well. Devine worked hard of the ball as well, but he showed great quality on it, even though he was playing out of position.

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