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Bobby Clark nets winner in 1st game back – as 3 return but new injury fear emerges


It was a perfect afternoon for Bobby Clark as he scored the winner in the 90th minute of his first game back, with Liverpool U21s beating Chelsea 2-1.

Liverpool U21s 2-1 Chelsea U21s

PL2, AXA Training Centre
December 17, 2023

Goals: Glatzel 49′, Clark 90′; Williams 54′

Clark has not been involved for Liverpool for two-and-a-half months, having picked up a troubling injury at the start of October.

His layoff has denied guaranteed opportunities at first-team level, with the 18-year-old missing five Europa League group games and the Carabao Cup trip to Bournemouth.

Sunday saw the versatile youngster come off the bench to score the winner against Chelsea, though, on a day that also saw Paul Glatzel and Oakley Cannonier make their comeback.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 1, 2023: Liverpool's Paul Glatzel (R) celebrates with team-mate Terence Miles after scoring the second goal during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Crystal Palace’s Under-21’s and Liverpool FC Under-21's at the Crystal Palace Training Ground. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It was Glatzel who opened the scoring for the young Reds, marking his first game in a month-and-a-half himself with his fourth goal in eight appearances this season.

Unfortunately for Liverpool, it came after a concern for Ben Doak, who was substituted in the 28th minute amid fears of a new injury.

Chelsea, who had £17.1 million signing Deivid Washington in attack, pegged Liverpool back within five minutes of Glatzel’s strike, with Dylan Williams levelling the scores.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 27, 2023: Liverpool's Ben Doak during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The game was largely even throughout, with Barry Lewtas using the second half to reshuffle his pack as Cannonier replaced Harvey Blair and Clark came on for Tom Hill.

With the result looking likely to trail out for a 1-1 draw, up popped Clark late on to fire home from Jay Spearing’s assist and clinch a 2-1 victory.

It came after a tense period of stoppage time, with nine minutes added on, but Liverpool were able to get the win over the line.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 14, 2023: Liverpool's Bobby Clark looks on during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool FC Under-21's and Everton FC Under-21's, the Mini-Merseyside Derby, at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Victory comes ahead of a big week for the academy as they play their final two games of 2023 – the U18s visiting Fleetwood in the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday and the U21s hosting Feyenoord in the PL International Cup on Friday.

After that comes a break for the festive period, though Clark will be among those hoping for first-team exposure during that time.

Whether or not the Carabao Cup quarter-final against West Ham on Wednesday night will come too soon remains to be seen.

Liverpool U21s: Pitaluga; Miles, Pinnington, Chambers, Scanlon; Pilling, Hill (Clark 77′); Doak (Spearing 28′), Glatzel, Blair (Cannonier 66′); Musialowski

Subs not used: Kelly, Gyimah

Next match: Feyenoord (H) – PL International Cup – Friday, December 22, 7pm (GMT)