Liverpool U18s 3-1 Arsenal U18s: Reds move into the last four as Jurgen Klopp watches on | FA Youth Cup

Max Woltman, James Norris and Mateusz Musialowski were all on the scoresheet as the Reds extended their unbeaten run to eight and progressed into the semi-final in the process.
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There were roars as the full-time whistle blew. Harvey Davies' lead the celebrations following his bellowing cries as they booked their place in the FA Youth Cup semi-final.

The young Reds were looking to impress as they had the opportunity to walk out on the home of the Premier League champions and they did just that as Max Woltman, a James Norris penalty and a well-taken finish from Mateusz Musialowski was enough for Marc Bridge-Wilkinson's side.

Coming into the fixture under the lights at Anfield off the back of a comprehensive 6-0 win over Middlesborough, last weekend, Liverpool showed no signs of holding up as they stretched their unbeaten run in all competitions to nine games with Friday night's win. 

The Young Reds booked their place in the last four, just under an hour after a late extra-time own goal from Harvey Cullinan broke the hearts of the Blades as Ipswich scraped through.

72 hours before the senior side are due to travel to Old Trafford to play Manchester United, Liverpool head coach, Jurgen Klopp was in attendance showing support of the potential stars of years to come, something Bridge-Wilkinson spoke highly of, "It just shows an awful lot about them as people, they're willing to take time and watch the boys in that respect, that's obviously a big plus, we're very thankful for that.

"It also goes to show the way the club's aligned, that they're taking their time out of their busy schedule with everything that's going on to show a bit of interest in the younger players.

In what was a cagey opening stages of the game, both teams took their time in pinpointing their adversary, the U18s manager Marc Bridge-Wilkinson admitted there was a hint of apprehension, "That's understandable [nerves before the game] we expected it, we talked through what it would look like and feel like. 

"Obviously at some point in the game, they start to feel comfortable and remember it's just a green pitch with two white goals and a football."

Ken Gillard's Arsenal U18s did get a goal back early in the second half to restore a two-goal deficit after Khayon Edwards' was brought down by Billy Koumetio, Miguel Azeez stepped up and thundered home the spot-kick. 

It was richly deserved for the Gunners, who sparked into life after the Polish forward slotted home the third for the Reds. A number of chances fell to the dangerman Azeez but a mixture of failing to hit the target the Liverpool shot-stopper, Davies, being equal to the threat. 

Max Woltman added his 13th of the season following great interplay from the Reds as James Balagizi teed up the striker with a neatly cushioned header.

James Norris stepped up from the spot to send Ovie Ejeheri the wrong way after Tyler Morton was fouled in the box, moments after the palms of the Arsenal shot-stopper were stung as a result of Woltman's strike.

Arguably the pick of the bunch was orchestrated by the former Manchester City youngster Balagizi. He brilliantly dispossessed Jack Henry-Francis before powering the Liverpool counter-attack forward, the Pole peeled off into a wide area as he received the ball before turning the Arsenal captain inside and out before slotting into the far corner. 

With the 'Anfield hoodoo' seemingly only applying to the first team squad, the youngsters took the leap on the big stage at Anfield, netting three, whilst in the process booking their place in the semi-final of the FA Youth Cup.

Marc Bridge-Wilkinson said after the game "I think the way that we played in the attacking third in the first half was good and very clinical in what we did and again in the second half.

"We have to do it in a different way, there's different ways to win football games, play the game of football and I think we shown both sides of it today.

"It's just about belief regardless of the surroundings, the occasion and the fixture it's just to be brave enough in the way we play and I think we did it in spells. I wouldn't say it was a complete performance but we did well.


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"It was the first time some of them have played a competitive game at Anfield, that brings with a little bit of pressure and the occasion playing against Arsenal, a top team, a really good team brings pressure.

"When you think, it's the quarter-final of the FA Youth Cup and then it's all in together it puts them in a situation they're not used to and as development coaches we have to give them that opportunity as soon as we get the option we have to do it just for that reason win, lose or draw it puts them in a situation they're uncomfortable in.

"If we're going to stretch them and allow themto develop into the player and person they're capable of being, the more times we get to do this the better."

The U18s host Derby County on Tuesday in the rearranged fixture due to take place on Saturday before they face Ipswich on May 15th.