Liverpool Under23 have drawn Middlesbrough Under23 in the PL Cup round of 16, our club confirmed today through the official Twitter account.
They tweeted: “A trip to Middlesbrough awaits for #LFCU23s in the #PLCup Round of 16.”
The Reds U23 beat Stoke City 4-0 as Dominic Solanke scored a hat-trick for Neil Critchley’s side. Solanke, who is yet to break his duck for the senior Liverpool team since joining from Chelsea last summer, scored two goals before the break at St. George’s Park.
The striker scored a simple third goal for his hat-trick before Bobby Adekanye’s late strike completed the 4-0 rout of Stoke. Liverpool’s Under 23 had a very strong line-up that also included the likes of Nathaniel Clyne and Joe Gomez.
Clyne, who is yet to feature for the Reds this season after a long-term back injury, managed to complete the entire 90 minutes. It was the right-back’s first appearance in a competitive match since an outing in the opening pre-season friendly of the 2017-18 season against Tranmere Rovers.
Gomez also played the game against Stoke U23 and impressed Critchley. The Liverpool U23 boss praised Gomez, Clyne and Solanke for their performances at St. George’s Park.
“He has not played for seven months and the plan was to see how long he would go for. He kept putting his thumb up and saying he was OK,” Critchley told Liverpoolfc.com.
“He obviously wanted to see out the 90 minutes, which was great for him. I thought he was a great example to our players in the way he managed himself during the game, as well as Joe Gomez.
“All three – Joe, Nathaniel and Dom – were great examples for our players with the way they set the tone. It is great to see Nathaniel back and I’m sure all three will play a big part for the first team before the end of the season.”
Liverpool U23’s reward for winning against Stoke U23 is an away tie at Middlesbrough. Along with Middlesbrough vs Liverpool, the other ties are scheduled to be played from Thursday 15 March to Sunday 18 March.
Meanwhile, the Liverpool U23 side saw their Premier League International Cup hopes ended in heartbreaking fashion as an injury-time goal handed them a 2-1 quarterfinal defeat at the hands of Porto on Wednesday.