Neil Critchley praised his Liverpool U23s side for a battling display against Brighton and Hove Albion that he felt merited more than a 1-1 draw.

The young Reds took the lead in the Premier League 2 clash at the Academy when Rafael Camacho neatly slotted home on 12 minutes.

But their celebrations were cut short by a harsh red card for Ki-Jana Hoever midway through the first half and, despite stubborn resistance after that setback, Brighton snatched a point in the final moments.

Read Critchley’s assessment of the encounter below…

On how the game panned out…

I thought we were magnificent tonight. We started the game unbelievably well, scored, were the dominant team, and looked as though we were going to score again. And then a somewhat baffling decision has changed the game. Even with 10 men, it looked like an even game; our goalkeeper has had very little to do, maybe the odd shot from outside the box. Their ‘keeper has had more to do than ours. Some of the football we played, our organisation and work ethic, was outstanding. If there was any justice then we would have won that game.

On Hoever’s red card…

It was a baffling decision, to say the least. The referee had a yellow card in his hand and had given a free-kick outside the box, which it was – it was a clear foul and a booking. George Johnston is there to defend. The linesman got involved and changed the decision. That changed the whole complexion of the game. Hopefully we can get that overturned.

On Liverpool’s determination with 10 men…

I thought we were terrific, I really did. We have got some really good characters, good ability, we played with intelligence without the ball. We defended very well for most of the time; they were going to have some possession and crosses coming in, but I didn’t feel our goal was under great threat. But you know when it’s 1-0 and you’re down to 10 men, there’s always a chance that can happen – a cross like that and we just didn’t defend it well enough. But I thought our play, in possession as well with a man down, was brilliant. We controlled a lot of periods of the game, we were always dangerous on the counter-attack and had some chances. We deserved to win the game.

On recovering for the weekend meeting with West Bromwich Albion…

The lads have put a real shift in tonight and we’ll have to recover and make sure we do it properly, then prepare for West Brom. We need to win a game in that competition to qualify – that’s what we’ll aim to do on Sunday.

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