Saturday 04 May 2013
Liverpool and Newcastle United confirmed their places in the final stage of the Barclays Under-21 Premier League on Friday night.
A last-minute equaliser from Villyan Bijev sealed Liverpool’s place in the final stage of the Barclays Under-21 Premier League.
Liverpool needed to avoid defeat against Arsenal at Underhill or Manchester United on Monday to climb above Southampton into the third and final spot for the final stage semi-finals.
It seemed that the visitors would have to go to Old Trafford to achieve the feat after they trailed to a long-range strike from Thomas Eisfeld early in the second half. But Alex Inglethorpe's team applied some late pressure and it paid off with a minute remaining when Jordan Ibe beat his man to the byline down the left to cut the ball back for Bijev to score from six yards.
Liverpool can claim home advantage for the semi-final against second-placed Manchester United should they beat them by two clear goals in their final group match on Monday.
Newcastle United’s 10-match unbeaten run ended at the hands of Bolton Wanderers at Whitley Park but Willie Donachie’s side did enough to seal their place as Group 2 winners and claim a play-off against Everton next week.
Brandon Miele opened the scoring for Newcastle but the lead was cancelled out by Sanmi Odelusi and an Adam Blakeman penalty put Bolton ahead and level on points. But an inferior goal difference meant that they needed to win by four clear goals to climb above their opponents and such a margin of victory proved impossible.
Also in Group 2, Norwich City and Crystal Palace drew 1-1 at Coplney Training Centre. Trialist Jamie MacLaren headed Norwich into teh lead but Palace levelled through Ibra Sekajja.
Friday 3 May
Arsenal (Eisfeld) 1-1 Liverpool (Bijev)
Newcastle United (Miele) 1-2 Bolton Wanderers (Odelusi, Blakeman pen)
Norwich City (MacLaren) 1-1 Crystal Palace (Sekajja)
To view the league tables after the qualificaton stage, click here