The youngest Liverpool team of the Premier League era were taught a lesson by Swansea City this lunchtime as they succumbed to a 3-1 loss at the Liberty Stadium.
Jurgen Klopp fielded a mixture of kids and first-team players in Wales ahead of the second leg of the Europa League semi-final with Villarreal at Anfield on Wednesday.
The inclusion of the likes of Danny Ward, Kevin Stewart and Brad Smith (all 22) and Sheyi Ojo and Pedro Chirivella (both 18) gave the Reds an average age of 23.
But their inexperience arguably told as Swansea moved into a 2-0 lead inside 33 minutes. Jack Cork added to Andre Ayew’s headed opener with this excellent curling finish.
SEE MORE: Jack Cork goal video: Midfielder scores screamer as Swansea decide to turn up v Liverpool after rolling over for Leicester last weekend
Christian Benteke came off the bench to give Liverpool’s kids a boost with just his second league goal of 2016 on 65 minutes, but Ayew settled the result two minutes later.
Ayew used his superior strength to brush off the challenge of Ojo and squeeze a shot past the obstructed Ward, earning Swansea their first win over Liverpool in nine attempts.
Smith was sent off before full time for a second bookable offence as Liverpool’s youngsters failed to make up ground on sixth-place Manchester United, who stay four points ahead.
Klopp’s selection gamble backfired, but might be deemed a worthwhile sacrifice if the Reds can overturn their 1-0 deficit against Villarreal to reach the Europa League final.
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