6th March 2017
Marko Grujic made his first appearance for Liverpool since November as the U23s thrashed Reading 5-1 on Monday evening.
The Serbian midfielder enjoyed an hour-long run-out at Adams Park as he stepped up his bid for full fitness, taking his place in a starting XI featuring eight players with first-team experience.
But it was teenager Rhian Brewster who stole the show on the night, scoring twice as a sparkling first-half performance from the visitors was rewarded.
Although the Reds had attacked with verve from the moment the first whistle sounded, their first goal owed more to training-ground repetition than off-the-cuff forward play.
It came through something of a surprise scorer in Joe Gomez, the centre-back producing a centre-forward’s finish as he volleyed Harry Wilson’s corner home.
Liverpool twice went close in the moments that followed, with Sheyi Ojo just failing to get a touch on Trent Alexander-Arnold’s low cross before clattering the post with a follow-up effort.
However, the visitors’ forward-thinking approach left spaces for Reading to attack, and only a brilliant off-the-line clearance from Nathaniel Phillips prevented Yakou Meite from levelling things up with half an hour gone.
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