Liverpool midfielder Jordan Rossiter took a big step on his road to recovery from injury on 30 November as he featured for 60 minutes of the club's narrow 3-2 defeat to Manchester United in an U21 Premier League fixture. The outing was his first since sustaining a hamstring problem on international duty in October following a gruelling run of three full European Championship qualifiers in just six days.
That busy schedule drew an angry reaction from newly appointed Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, who stated his disbelief that the 18-year-old featured in each match and warned against the pitfalls of treating young players "like horses". He later saw fit to play down that row, although remained firm in his desire to hold discussions with the Football Association (FA) to safeguard against similar overexposure in future.
Klopp will certainly have been encouraged to see Rossiter back on the pitch at Leigh Park Village as the midfielder bids to build upon his handful of first-team appearances, although the player was frustrated with the end result.
"It was great to be back," he told Liverpool's official website. "It has been about seven or eight weeks since my last game for Liverpool. So I really enjoyed being back out there – just a disappointing result overall.
"There was nothing in the game. In the first 15 or 20 minutes we were brilliant, then maybe we struggled for 10 minutes but we picked it back up. We never really had the luck you need sometimes but the boys worked really hard. I was gutted to come off but I need to manage myself, it has been a while since I've played. I just loved being back out there."
Liverpool's youngsters appeared to have engineered an impressive fightback against United, with two late strikes courtesy of Jerome Sinclair and Madger Gomes cancelled out earlier efforts from Marouane Fellaini and Nick Powell. However, they were cruelly denied a share of the points in the closing stages as Sean Goss fired home an impressive shot with just one minute to spare. Gomes also had a goal controversially ruled out for offside and opposition goalkeeper Sergio Romero did little to improve his worsening reputation with an error.