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Match Reports

Development Report: Liverpool 4-1 Palace

7 December 2012


A strong Liverpool outfit proved too much for Palace's development side as they finished the first stage of the U21s league with a 4-1 defeat on Merseyside.

Liverpool named first-team fringe players Daniel Pacheco and Jon Flanagan in their side and went into the game looking to preserve their unbeaten record in the Development League.

The Reds came close after four minutes when hot prospect Adam Morgan saw a shot cleared off the line by Bayan Fenwick and then went close with a lob which narrowly missed the target.

Having weathered the storm, Palace nearly snatched the lead when Kwesi Appiah hit a powerful shot on the turn towards goal which Reds' shot-stopper Danny Ward did well to parry away on 15 minutes.

After a frantic opening, the game then turned into an individual dual between Fitzsimons and Pacheco with the young keeper coming out on top three times in quick succession. Firstly the Spaniard beat three defenders before shooting which the Palace keeper easily gathered.

A minute later Pacheco broke through the Palace defence after a clearance by Ward, only to be thwarted once again by a fully-stretched Fitzsimons, and later in the half he had to tip another shot over his bar from the former Norwich loanee.

Palace reacted and one-time Reds youth player Jason Banton beat Flanagan before working Ward from the edge of the box, but just as Palace looked to have taken their clean sheet into the break, Pacheco finally found a way past Fitzsimons when he showed his quality by dribbling from just inside the Eagles half and finding the bottom corner from 20 yards out.

Following the interval it looked to be an uphill struggle for Palace when they conceded a second goal only a minute after the restart. Krisztian Adorjan's left-footed strike was beaten out by Fitzsimons but Morgan bundled the ball over the line.

Despite finding themselves two goals down, Palace battled back and Appiah saw a low drive narrowly miss the target before a moment of controversy affected the game. A long ball towards Appiah caught out Ward, and as the ball looked to be sailing over his head the goalkeeper deliberately handled the ball well outside his area, however only received a booking.

The Eagles continued to push forward and got their reward when they reduced the deficit through Matt Parsons. The defender picked the ball up 35 yards from goal, found some space and unleashed a shot which flew into the bottom corner from the edge of the area to register his second goal of the campaign against Liverpool.

No sooner had they found a way back into the game, Palace then found themselves two goals behind again. German striker Samed Yesil latched onto a inch-perfect through ball from Craig Roddan and coolly dinked the ball over Fitzsimons to restore their healthy lead.

Looking to claw their way back into the game, Banton nearly found the bottom corner from 20 yards but Ward did well to palm the ball away, and substitute Sullay Kaikai hit the post with a low free-kick.

However it was the Reds who snatched a late fourth goal when Flanagan linked well with Morgan and Yesil and poked the ball into the net during a scramble in the box which gave the scoreline an unfair reflection on the Eagles' efforts.

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