THE red card “killed” Liverpool under-21s last night, according to head coach Barry Lewtas.

The Premier League youngsters, making their first appearance in the knock-out stages of the EFL Trophy, had to play more than an hour with 10 men at Valley Parade.

Striker Lewis Koumas was sent off for a foul on Ciaran Kelly in the first half when Liverpool trailed to Tyler Smith’s early goal.

They went on to lose 4-0 to City, failing to register a single shot on target, and boss Lewtas admitted dealing with a numerical disadvantage for so long inevitably took its toll.

“It was always going to be a tough game, so to try to play most of it with 10 made it even harder. It makes it a little bit harder to judge certain moments,” he told

“Overall, obviously we’re disappointed because going down to 10 men in that manner kind of killed us really. (I’m) disappointed but within there, there was lots of character.

“I thought the boys competed, especially at the end of the first half. I thought we were going to equalise andwe got in on their goal a few times.

“I just think in end we probably just didn’t have enough, especially with 10 men.”

Scotland under-21 international Ben Doak caught the eye and had their best opening when he was put through before Harry Lewis smothered the ball at his feet.

Doak had to come off 20 minutes from the end with an apparent attack of cramp.

Lewtas added: “I think we’ve done really well, it’s just probably tinged with a little bit of what might have been there.

“It would be wrong for me to say the result would have been different, because who knows? But we’ll never know.”