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4 April 2014

Winger plays 68 minutes in 4-1 defeat to Liverpool

ELLIOTT Bennett played his first competitive minutes for nearly eight months for the Canaries Under-21s, who lost 4-1 to Liverpool at Anfield.

The winger, who damaged knee ligaments against Everton on the opening day of the season, came through 68 minutes untroubled and provided the assist for Josh Murphy's goal.

Liverpool netted three times in four second-half minutes to give the scoreboard a one-sided look in a game where Mark Robson's team showed plenty of encouraging signs.

Murphy has equalised Jordan Williams opener, but Jack Dunn and a Kristoffer Peterson brace landed the points for the Merseysiders.

City started brightly and Reece Hall-Johnson had a fine chance to open the scoring after just three minutes, but he nodded wide after meeting Ray Grant's corner.

Liverpool grew into the game and went close on 15 minutes through Peterson, who hit the crossbar with a shot from the right after being found by Cameron Brannagan.

Eight minutes later, they took the lead as Williams broke from midfield before striking from distance, with his effort having too much power for Remi Matthews between the sticks.

City had Matthews to thank moments later, though, as he stood tall to keep out Dunn's close-range shot before Lloyd Jones almost turned into his own net up the other end from Bennett's free-kick.

Towards the end of the half, Dunn was set free again but pushed he shot wide before Murphy had an effort that was kept out by Ryan Fulton for the Canaries.

HALF-TIME: Liverpool 1-0 Norwich City

Bennett had a fine opportunity to level things for City four minutes into the second period, but lofted his shot over the bar after being picked out by Murphy.

Rafael Paez flicked a header just over Matthews' bar for the hosts but Norwich's improved play fashioned a leveller on 62 minutes.

Bennett played a corner short to Murphy, and his low drive from outside the box took a deflection that helped it beat Fulton in the Liverpool goal.

The returning Bennett was then substituted on 68 minutes having got through his time on the pitch without any issues - a big plus for the Canaries' first-team.

Mark Robson's side encouraging play counted for nothing, however, as Liverpool struck three times within four minutes.

Firstly, Dunn rounded Matthews after Peterson's outstanding through ball, before the latter got on the scoresheet himself with a half-volley from inside the box.

The midfielder then netted again after Jordan Lussey's pass before a shell-shocked Matthews had to be at his best to deny Dunn.

Even though they had edged the contest on the whole, the 4-1 scoreline flattered Alex Inglethorpe's Reds when the final whistle blew.

FULL-TIME: Liverpool 4-1 Norwich City

GOALS: Reds: Jordan Williams (23), Jack Dunn (79), Kristoffer Peterson (80, 83) - Canaries: Josh Murphy (62)

LIVERPOOL: Fulton; Randall (Maguire 69), Smith, Paez, Jones, Rossiter, Peterson, Williams, Dunn, Brannagan (Baio 90), Teixeira (Lussey 63). Subs not used: Firth (GK), Kent.

: Matthews; McNeil, McFadden (c), Awuah (Fox 90), Wyatt; E Bennett (Young 68), Norman, Grant, Josh Murphy; Hall-Johnson (Byrne-Hewitt 90); Morris. Subs not used: Killip (GK).

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