Stefan Bajcetic steps up comeback as Liverpool suffer new setback

Stefan Bajcetic of Liverpool

Stefan Bajcetic continued his comeback from long-term injury as a strong Liverpool side tumbled to Premier League 2 defeat at Sunderland.

Bajcetic played the first half as the Reds' under-21s were beaten 2-1 at the Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground on Monday evening.

Lewis Koumas had given Liverpool an earlier lead but Barry Lewtas's side pegged back shortly afterwards before conceding the winner shortly after half-time, a result which means they now have only an outside chance of finishing in the top four ahead of the play-offs introduced for this season.

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With Bobby Clark, James McConnell, Jayden Danns, Kaide Gordon and Trey Nyoni in the starting line-up, Liverpool had the perfect opening when, after only eight minutes, Koumas pressed a mistake out of Sunderland's Henry Fieldson on the edge of the box and tucked away into the bottom corner.

But the hosts were level on 18 minutes when Liverpool goalkeeper Fabian Mrozek could only punch a corner out to Harrison Jones who scored with a first-time effort.

Both sides had chances either side of half-time before Sunderland went ahead on 54 minutes, Tommy Watson sending in a cross from the left that was tucked away by Timur Tuterov. The Black Cats later hit the woodwork twice and Mrozek made a series of impressive saves before a good challenge prevented Koumas from equalising late on.

Liverpool are next in Premier League 2 action on Sunday when they conclude the regular season with a home clash against Arsenal at Kirkby (kick-off 1pm).

LIVERPOOL U21s (4-3-3): Mrozek; McConnell (Pilling 70), Nallo, Williams, Pinnington (Davidson 63); Bajcetic (Miles 46), Nyoni, Clark; Gordon, Danns (Blair 74), Koumas. Sub: Poytress. BOOKINGS: McConnell, Williams, Gordon.