Tuesday 02 April 2013
There were two matches in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League on Easter Monday, with Tottenham Hotspur moving 10 points clear in the Elite Group thanks to a commanding away victory over third-placed Liverpool and Aston Villa winning by the same scoreline in Group 1.
Cristian Ceballos struck twice and Kenny McEvoy added a third as Tottenham ran out impressive winners over a Liverpool side who had replied through Adam Morgan at Anfield.
A young visiting team featuring six academy trainees started strongly with Laste Dombaxe and Nabil Bentaleb going close early on, while Peter Gulacsi produced a fine save to turn away Shaq Coulthirst's header from Ceballos's whipped corner.
The deadlock was broken on 20 minutes when Ceballos tricked his way past Ryan McLaughlin on the left byline and fired across goal, his centre cannoning in off Gulacsi.
Ceballos and Dombaxe both threatened from the edge of the area towards the end of the first half and the former doubled his tally six minutes after the restart with a firm header from eight yards out after being picked out by Jack Barthram.
The Elite Group leaders continued to pour forward, with Ceballos finding the side-netting, Coulthirst blazing over and Milos Veljkovic powering a header over from 12 yards, but as Spurs threatened a rout, they were caught out on the break by Liverpool as Morgan raced on to a pass over the top, skipped around the advancing Lawrence Vigouroux and showed great composure to step inside Ryan Fredericks and Grant Hall before applying a cool finish.
It could have been 2-2 moments later as Joao Texeira broke through and clipped the top of the crossbar from 16 yards. However, Spurs secured the win through McEvoy three minutes from time as good pressing by Zeki Fryers and Roman Michael-Percil enabled Dombaxe to pick out the midfielder to find the far corner.
The result means Spurs are 10 points clear at the top of the Elite Group with four matches of the Second Phase remaining, while Liverpool missed out on the chance to leapfrog Manchester United, who remain a point better off in second.
Aston Villa moved up to third in Group 1 after coming from behind to seal an impressive victory against Sunderland.
The visitors were ahead early on in wintry conditions in Hinckley when Jordan Laidler picked out Ryan Noble with a fine ball for the striker to finish expertly.
But the hosts were level just before half-time when Courtney Cameron's cross evaded Joel Dixon in the Sunderland goal and nestled in the corner of the net.
The visitors went close to regaining the lead just after the break when Adam Mitchell crashed a strike against the bar, but the hosts rallied strongly with two goals by Daniel Johnson, who broke from midfield to give his side the lead with a fierce effort from range.
As Sunderland sought an equaliser, Johnson doubled his tally with another superb drive from 20 yards. Villa lie six points behind leaders Everton with five matches remaining, while the Black Cats, who are without a win in eight ties, are propping up the division.
Liverpool 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur (Morgan; Ceballos 2; McEvoy)
Aston Villa (Cameron, Johnson 2) 3-1 Sunderland (Noble)
Download full fixture list here | For full results click here
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