Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey hopes he has played his way into the team to face Manchester United on Sunday after his two-goal salvo in the 5-3 Europa League win over Young Boys.
The 20-year-old’s impressive 23-minute cameo in the second half turned the match in the visitors’ favour after they had trailed 3-2. Shelvey, a 67th-minute replacement for Ousama Assaidi, struck two emphatic finishes in the 76th and 88th minutes to rescue an inexperienced Liverpool side in the Wankdorf Stadium in Bern.
The visitors led through Juhani Ojala’s clumsy fourth-minute own goal and despite Rapha Nuzzolo’s 38th-minute equaliser, Liverpool went back in front before half-time through Andre Wisdom.
Ojala netted at the right end on 53 minutes to bring Young Boys level and Gonzalo Zarate put the hosts ahead 10 minutes later. Sebastian Coates pulled it back to 3-3 before Shelvey’s late heroics.
Manager Brendan Rodgers insisted on Wednesday, despite leaving eight senior players at home and making 11 changes for the European game, that places were still up for grabs for this weekend’s Anfield encounter.
And Shelvey hopes he has done enough to book what is likely to be the one vacant slot in midfield alongside the returning duo of Steven Gerrard and Joe Allen. “I hope I’ve played my way into the team for Sunday but you never know what’s in the manager’s mind,” he said.
“The manager, ever since he’s been here, has been first class with me and given me an opportunity and I felt coming off the bench and scoring two goals repaid him. It is what dreams are made of. Games don’t come much bigger for Liverpool than Manchester United at home. The atmosphere will be electric and I want to be a part of it.”
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