Liverpool’s dreams of reaching the final of the debut edition of the NextGen Series have been dashed as they were taught a lesson by Dutch outfit Ajax.
The Reds went down 6-0 against the renowned academy last night in St Helens Langtree Park.
Liverpool kept the tally down throughout the first half but still went into the break trailing by two goals.
Starlet Viktor Fischer grabbed a hat-trick for Ajax and was involved in every goal bar one. The young Dane has really stood out throughout the tournament and will be hoping to continue his good form into the final. He has regularly been compared to the similarly exciting Christian Eriksen, who has now broke into Ajax’s first team where he is a regular fixture.
Davy Klaassen scored a double for Ajax. The 19-year-old made his Champions League debut last November but looked as enthusiastic as ever playing at this level and helping to propel Ajax into the final where they will meet either Inter Milan or Marseille, who meet next Wednesday.
Lesley de Sa, whose name has popped up countless times throughout the tournament, grabbed the final goal to give Ajax a more than convincing win over the scouse club.
Liverpool’s academy manager Rodolfo Borrell, renowned for his role at Barcelona, was left to reflect on his side’s campaign in the NextGen Series and realise exactly how far his side has to develop in order to compete with some of the continent’s elite.
After dumping out the favourites, Barcelona, in the quarter finals, Ajax went into the tie hot favourites and didn’t disappoint and kept Liverpool relatively quiet throughout the game.
However, Ajax made a bright start when Fischer fired in from the edge of the area past ‘keeper Danny Ward.
Liverpool missed a golden chance to level the scores when Raheem Sterling was bought down in the area by Ruben Ligeon. Unfortunately for them, Suso was unable to convert the penalty and Mickey Van Der Hart between the sticks was also able to get a solid block on the rebound.
After a number of good attacks led by Kritszian Adorjan, Ajax finally got their second Stephen Sama’s mistake was pounced on by Fischer and despite a good save from Ward, De Sa was there to put the effort into the back of the net.
Three minutes into the second half the tie was effectively over when Fischer netted from close range.
Suso’s 30-yard free kick hit the crossbar shortly after but it just looked like it wasn’t to be the Reds night.
Klaassen converted a softly awarded penalty when Andre Wisdom pushed Fischer inside the box.
On 70 minutes Klaassen grabbed his brace and not long after Fischer completed his hat-trick.
You can see a match report of the upcoming Inter Milan vs Marseille game soon on The Youth Radar and unrivalled coverage of the final!