Liverpool under-19 manager Steven Gerrard has praised his young side for their 2-0 victory over rivals Manchester United in the UEFA Youth League.
The former Anfield skipper oversaw his side’s victory in the last sixteen clash at Prenton Park as goals from Ben Woodburn and Rafael Camacho sealed progress to the quarter-final stage.
“It feels good. It feels good to coach this team and certainly to beat one of our big rivals in the last sixteen of a massive competition.” he told Liverpoolfc.com.
“It feels good, but the players deserve the credit. They’ve had two or three days to prepare for this game on the back of big fixtures in the weekend just gone and they’ve carried out the game plan very, very well.
“Some superb individual performances within that, but I think it’s important to create a team and a squad. Our substitute came on and gave us that breathing space by finishing the game off.
“I’m proud of the lads and so are Critch and all the staff because we’ve given them a lot of information and messages over the last couple of days and they’ve taken it in, soaked it up, and put in such a mature performance.” he continued.
Gerrard had done his homework by watching how Nicky Butt’s side play and it paid off as his side executed his tactical plan to seal the win.
“United started with a diamond so we knew the space was on the side.” he said.
“Out of possession that’ll always be our game plan, we want to try to press aggressively and win the ball back in good areas and then we can spring off that with the likes of Curtis Jones, Liam Millar, Bobby Adekanye and Ben Woodburn.
“In possession, we want to move the ball from side to side. The lads were terrific today, both in and out of possession.
“We didn’t mind their back players having the ball, we just needed to keep sliding and not let them play through the middle of the pitch.
“Their dangerous players are Gomes and Chong and they like to receive the ball between the lines but we didn’t give them much space.
“I think their chances came from our tiredness and little bit of sloppy play, but I think it’d be unfair to criticise the players in any way today because for the small space of time we’ve had, they’ve carried out a game plan so superbly.
“They’ve executed it perfectly.” he finished.
Liverpool will face a trip to play rivals Manchester City in the next stage of the competition as they seek to lift some silverware this season.