How Liverpool’s youngsters fared against Bournemouth

Date published: Sunday 17th April 2016 10:16

Liverpool: Impressive performance by the young side

After their Europa League heroics against Borussia Dortmund on Thursday, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp made a total of 10 changes for the Premier League game against Bournemouth, fielding a youthful side in the 2-1 win at the Vitality Stadium.

Scott Anderson looks at how the Reds youngsters got on as Roberto Firmino and Daniel Sturridge secured the three points for the Reds.

Danny Ward

The Welshman came in to make his Liverpool debut, replacing the rested Simon Mignolet. He was tested early on by Cherries captain and Liverpool fan Tommy Elphick, but the 22-year-old comfortably gathered his goal-bound header.


Ward confidently came to collect a dangerous cross and distributed perfectly, showing absolutely no signs of the occasion getting the better of him, and he was called into action in the second half when Joshua King was through on goal, but the youngster was able to tip his deflected effort away from danger.

The stopper didn’t put a foot wrong up until the 74th minute when he spilled a cross, but luckily it was cleared, much to his relief. The former Aberdeen loanee pulled off a spectacular save in the closing stages from a Lewis Grabban header.

Ward was denied a debut clean sheet in the dying minutes when King’s turn and shot from the edge of the box flew into the bottom corner.

Brad Smith 

Solid performance from the left-back. Provided an attacking outlet in supporting Jordon Ibe, and battled well against tough opposition in Matt Ritchie.


The 22-year-old formed a threatening partnership with Ibe down the left wing and constantly burst forward to support the attack.

Bournemout did have a penalty shout against the Australia international when the ball hit his arm, but it would have been a harsh decision.

Connor Randall

Randall was picked ahead of Reds favourite Jon Flanagan to make his Liverpool debut, but nerves probably got the better of the full-back early on as he took down Bournemouth winger Max Gradel with a clumsy challenge.

The 20-year-old did well to get forward and meet the end of Sheyi Oji’s rebounded cross, but his shot failed to test Artur Boruc. All in all a good debut performance against a dangerous opposition.

Kevin Stewart

The 22-year-old attempted to dictate play alongside Joe Allen at the heart of the Liverpool midfield, but one or two early stray passes saw their opponents take a foothold of the game and enjoy a slight majority of possession in the early stages.

Stewart matched his performance against Stoke last week with another assured display, winning key battles in midfield when up against a one of the hardest working teams in the Premier League.

Sheyi Ojo

After putting in a good first-half performance last week in the 4-1 win against Stoke at Anfield, this was yet another impressive outing from the 18-year-old.


The pacey winger caused the Bournemouth back four problems and showed glimpses of his ability early on by skipping past two Cherries defenders, but his shot was well blocked.

Ojo was arguably the most dangerous player on the pitch, and his sheer power and pace proved too much for Bournemouth. The former MK Dons starlet could emerge as an important player for Klopp. A very exciting talent.

Jordon Ibe

With so much expected from the 20-year-old at the beginning of the season, many Reds fans have been surprised to see Ibe fall down the pecking order in recent months.

Ibe hadn’t started a match for Liverpool in the Premier League since the dramatic 5-4 win against Norwich at Carrow Road, and even then he was brought off after 59 minutes.

But the winger looked liked he had a point to prove on his return to first-team action in a Red shirt, playing a part in both Liverpool goals. Ibe did well to find Sturridge, who’s rebounded shot fell into the path of Roberto Firmino to put the Reds 1-0 up.

Ibe then delivered a beauty of a free-kick that once again found Sturridge, and the England international converted a fine header to score his sixth goal in seven Premier League starts.

Scott Anderson

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