Liverpool's youngsters were unlucky to lose the opening game of their Barclays U21 Premier League campaign on Monday after Southampton edged a thrilling 4-3 clash at the Academy.
Alex Inglethorpe's side went ahead through Jack Dunn early on, but Southampton hit them with three strikes in quick succession to take a 3-1 lead.
Undeterred, the Reds fought back to level the scores at half-time, courtesy of goals from Villyan Bijev and Kristoffer Peterson.
However, Jake Sinclair pounced on a defensive mix-up to seal the win midway through the second half.
It was an error from Southampton defender Jack Stephens, who hit a nightmare of a back-pass on seven minutes, which allowed Dunn to hand the home side a dream start.
The Liverpool man scooped possession with ease, spun and burst towards goal - where he swerved a low strike beyond Will Britt.
The Reds swarmed all over the opposition throughout the opening 10 minutes - Bijev and Peterson were both denied brilliantly by the 'keeper.
But the Saints struck back when Ryan Seager saw his stinging strike saved by Yusuf Mersin and the ball was worked out wide to where Omar Rowe was arriving at the far post to tap home.
The visitors then began to turn the screw - and they were nothing short of ruthless when they committed men forward. Rowe found Sinclair, who flicked the ball on, but Joe Maguire managed to clear before Seager could finish at the far post.
Sinclair was superb throughout the opening exchanges - and on the half-hour mark he broke clear of the Reds' defence, dragged the ball away from Maguire and slotted home with ease.
Rowe chipped in with his second to make it 3-1 shortly after as he rifled a loose ball into the roof of Mersin's net.
However, Inglethorpe's men fought back. Bijev slipped a weighted pass into the channel for Dunn, who chased onto the through ball and was floored as he tried to control it. Bijev then sent the 'keeper the wrong way from the spot to halve the deficit.
Then, just before the half-time whistle, the Reds levelled proceedings. Daniel Trickett-Smith floated a high pass over the top, Britt raced out to claim, but couldn't collect and Peterson made it 3-3 with a simple tap-in.
Liverpool picked up where they left off after the interval; Peterson rattled the post, Britt saved bravely from Trickett-Smith, before Dunn hammered at the 'keeper from close range.
But disaster struck for the Reds when Sinclair rounded Mersin and rolled the ball into an empty net to clinch the decisive goal of the game.
Liverpool team: Mersin, Roddan, Maguire, Jones, Sokolik, Rossiter, Peterson, Lussey (Wilson), Dunn, Trickett-Smith (Nacho), Bijev (Morgan).
http://www.liverpoolfc.com/fixtures2013 ... tch-report