Baggies narrowly beaten by the Reds
ALBION fell to only their second Barclays U21 Premier League defeat since November in a 2-1 loss to Liverpool at The Hawthorns this afternoon.
Goals from Jordan Ibe and Joao Teixeira earned the visitors all three points - despite Adil Nabi's 53-rd minute strike.
Development coach David Oldfield made two changes to the side that lost 2-0 at West Ham last time out - with Shane Lewis replacing Alex Palmer in goal and Aaron Birch making way for Callum Jones.
Isaiah Brown kept his place in the starting XI after netting his first England goal in the under-16s’ 4-3 defeat by Germany on Wednesday.
Seeking revenge for Albion’s impressive 2-0 victory at Anfield on Monday, the visitors started brightly and could have been ahead inside two minutes, but Lewis was on hand to turn Teixeira’s right-foot strike behind from Adam Morgan’s knockdown.
The Reds broke again three minutes later when Ibe cut in from the wing to send a powerful left-foot effort just wide of Lewis’ right-hand post from 20 yards.
And the Merseyside outfit were ahead on 19 minutes with Ibe on hand to tap home Morgan’s cutback after Teixiera’s throughball dissected Albion’s back four.
Morgan narrowly missed out on extending the the Reds’ lead eight minutes later but his delicate left-foot shot narrowly passed the right-hand post following more excellent work from Ibe on the left.
Liverpool went close again three minutes prior to the interval with Marc Pelosi’s 25-yard strike just missing the left-hand upright after deflecting off Wesley Atkinson.
The Baggies drew level on 53 minutes with Adil Nabi showing composure to smash the ball home from ten yards after the Reds were unable to clear their lines.
Nabi played in Isaiah Brown moments later but the 16-year-old midfielder was denied by Conor Coady's last-ditch tackle.
Albion went close again in the 58th minute but Liverpool keeper Daniel Ward parried Scott Allan’s right-foot half-volley from 20 yards.
The Reds regained their one-goal advantage on 76 minutes as Teixeira coolly finished from Suso’s throughball.
The visitors might have extended their lead six minutes later but Suso struck his left-foot free-kick over the bar from just outside the penalty area.
Liam O’Neil came close to equalising moments later but his redirected effort from James Hurst’s cross-cum-shot whistled past the left-hand post from 15 yards out.
But on 87 minutes O’Neil was dismissed for a late challenge on Pelosi which left the German youngster requiring a stretcher to leave the field.
The injury saw the game halted for over eight minutes and neither side were able to create any chances when it restarted.
ALBION (4-2-3-1): Lewis; Hurst, Atkinson, C Jones, Smart; Allan, O’Neil (c); I Brown (Birch 81), A Nabi, Roofe; Sawyers. Subs not used: Palmer (gk); Wedderburn, Francis, S Nabi.
LIVERPOOL (4-4-1-1): Ward; McLaughlin, Sama, Coady (c), Robinson; Suso, Teixeira, Pelosi, Ibe (Dunn 77); Adorjan, Morgan. Subs: Belford, Nacho, Roddan, Jones.
GOALS: ALBION – A Nabi (53) LIVERPOOL – Ibe (19), Teixeira (76)
BOOKINGS: Hurst (foul 65)
SENDING-OFF: O’Neil (foul 87)
REFEREE: Rob Ellis (West Midlands)
ALBION STARMAN: Adil Nabi