Mamadou Sakho scored for Liverpool Under-23s as they secured a Premier League 2 victory over Reading.
France international Sakho , who is currently training with the youth team after falling out with manager Jurgen Klopp, scored just 14 minutes into the match at Prenton Park.
Ben Woodburn netted the second with six minutes to go as the Reds controlled the fixture from the start, report the Liverpool Echo.
Michael Beale’s 4-3-3 formation was too much for the visitors to handle and the Reds’ front men were on fire. Woodburn, Brooks Lennon and Cameron Brannagan were a constant danger to the Reading back four.
Their link-up play was something to behold – creating chance after chance for one another.
Woodburn whipped in an early cross which ricocheted off an unmarked Brannagan at the back post early on and set the tone for the afternoon.
The Reds took the lead 14 minutes in. Ovie Ejaria showed some neat skill and glided into the box before releasing a low shot. Royals keeper Luke Southwood made a smart save low to his left, only to parry it into the path of Sakho who smashed it into the roof of the net.
It was a bombardment from then on. Ejaria had another curling effort from 20 yards just bend past the helpless keeper’s left-hand post. Kevin Stewart, who ran the game for the Reds in the first half, also headed over the bar from a whipped Juanma corner.
Beale’s side grew in confidence and had a swagger about them as the game went on.
They unleashed an assault on the Reading goal but the home side lacked that clinical edge and went into the break just a goal to the good.
The early stages of the second half were very bitty. Reading finally got a foothold into the game and Liverpool didn’t settle as well as they had in the first 45.
A couple of glaring opportunities then went begging for the Reds. A glorious three-on-two opportunity was squandered when the ball was overplayed in the box before a great Brannagan chance.
Ejaria again meandered into the box with the ball at his feet and slid the skipper through on goal. But the left-footed blast from a tight angle at six yards out crashed into the bar.
Brannagan then made way for Madger Gomes who made a positive impact off the bench. He ran at the Reading defenders and looked confident with the ball at his feet.
The Reds then really piled on the pressure as the second half progressed. Their class and depth of substitutes shone through as the took the game by the scruff of the neck and continued to create chances.
It was Gomes who found himself in the box before he squared to an oncoming Woodburn who side footed straight at the keeper. The ball squeezed between the legs of Southwood in the Royals’ goal before rebounding back to the Welshman who converted the easiest of tap-ins.
The result probably flattered Reading, who were lucky to escape with just the two-goal defeat at Prenton Park. Beale’s side looked in total control as his time continues to pile pressure onManchester City at the top of the league.