Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool under-18s suffered their first domestic defeat of the season after they were beaten 4-0 by Scott Parker’s Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League Cup on Wednesday.
It was just Gerrard’s second defeat as a manager as his side bowed out of the competition at the quarterfinal stage.
Parker, who took up his post in summer like Gerrard, will take his team to the semifinals as a brace from Rodel Richards and goals from Reo Griffiths and Dilan Markanday ensured a comfortable victory over the Merseyside youngsters.
Speaking to Liverpool’s official website after the game, Gerrard believes a number of his players “quit” when 2-0 down.
“It was tough to take and obviously a difficult one to swallow,” he said. “The scoreline looks heavy and it feels heavy at the moment but I think it probably flattered Tottenham a little bit, although I did feel we quit in the game at 2-0 down.
“We need to learn from this and my message from the dressing room afterwards is if three or four players don’t turn up in big games then it’s very difficult to get the result that you want.
“I think I’m being kind when I said to them that only three or four never turned up today. Those players know who they are but it’s gone and there’s nothing we can do now to change the scoreline.
“It’s all about what happens in the next fixture and I demand a reaction from some of those individuals and from everyone.”
On facing his former England teammate, Parker told Spurs’ official website: “It was strange. I said to Stevie beforehand that it was very different for us. I remember when we were kicking each other in midfield and now we’re on the sidelines!
“Your life changes but Stevie is obviously a student of the game and he obviously wants to go about things the right way, trying to learn as much as he can, similar to myself.
“When you think of someone who has had the career he’s had, it’s compliments to him that he wants to do it this way, so fair play to him. He’s got some good players.”
Liverpool currently top the northern U18 Premier League, while Spurs sit seventh in the southern section.
Glenn is ESPN FC’s Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.