A scorcher from Mateusz Musialowski gave Liverpool U21s hope of victory over League Two side Barrow, keeping up his streak of scoring in every EFL Trophy tie.
Barrow 2-1 Liverpool U21s
EFL Trophy (3), Holker Street
November 7, 2023
Goals: Etaluku 65′, Ogungbo 75′; Musialowski 29′
After a summer in which he was expected to join Austrian side TSV Hartberg on a free transfer, only for a change in Liverpool’s demands seeing him stay, Musialowski has stepped up this season.
The 20-year-old, who is in the final year of his contract, has moved into the centre-forward position and, following concerns over his application off the ball, has honed his all-round game.
That has included regular goals and assists, most impressively against senior opposition in the EFL Trophy.
Following a goal against Morecambe and a goal and an assist against Blackpool, Musialowski made it three in three on Tuesday night.
This strike from Liverpool youngster, Mateusz Musia?owski ?? pic.twitter.com/Ypev4f7wsg
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) November 8, 2023
Picking up the ball outside the box, the Pole shimmied and cut onto his right foot before firing a swerving effort beyond Josh Lillis and into the top corner.
It was his sixth goal in 11 games this season in all competitions, along with two assists, becoming a crucial part of Barry Lewtas‘ young side.
Lewtas fielded a particularly youthful lineup against Barrow, including three 16-year-olds in midfielder Trey Nyoni and centre-backs Amara Nallo and Carter Pinnington.
Nyoni, who has trained with the first team in recent weeks, made it consecutive starts for the U21s after his full debut in the weekend defeat to West Ham.
Unfortunately, it came in defeat as Sean Etaluku and Mazeed Ogungbo struck in the second half to give Barrow, who sit eighth in League Two, the three points.
Liverpool came close on a number of occasions, though, with 34-year-old player-coach Jay Spearing pulling the strings and laying on chances for Melkamu Frauendorf and Lewis Koumas.
Kaide Gordon, wearing the captain’s armband, also tested Lillis from range and Musialowski almost equalised late on from a free-kick, but it wasn’t to be.
The young Reds could still progress to the knockout stages if Blackpool, managed by former academy coach Neil Critchley, defeat Morecambe next week.
Liverpool U21s: Pitaluga; Miles, Pinnington, Nallo, Davidson; Spearing (Pilling 59′), Nyoni (Onanuga 82′), Frauendorf (Kone-Doherty 46′); Gordon (Morrison 59′), Koumas, Musialowski
Subs not used: Kelly, Pitt, Pennington
Next match: Burnley (A) – Lancashire Senior Cup – Tuesday, November 28, 7pm (GMT)