Liverpool's Spanish midfielder Suso continued on the road to recovery as he played 45 minutes for the U21s on Monday, helping to inspire a 2-0 friendly victory over Shrewsbury Town.
Goals from Jerome Sinclair and Cameron Brannagan secured a hard-fought win over the Shrews, who fielded seven senior players for the clash at the Reds' Kirkby Academy complex.
Suso, who has not played for the first team since their Capital One Cup penalty shootout win over Middlesbrough at Anfield on September 23, featured for the entire first half in today's clash.
The 21-year-old looked comfortable as he eased his way back into action, providing flashes of flair and inspiration, before departing at the interval to be replaced by Alex O'Hanlon.
He operated in a No.10 role, positioned behind the dual threat of Sinclair and Samed Yesil, as Brannagan and Jordan Lussey marshalled the space in front of Liverpool's three-man defence.
Sinclair made the breakthrough midway through the first half, while Brannagan sealed victory in style during the second period, firing a half-volley home after intricate team play from the Reds.
Liverpool were impressive in what quickly became a physical encounter - and the Reds' coaching staff were buoyed by the youngsters' response to the tough nature of the friendly clash.
Also pleasing for the staff was the first steps made at U21 level by U18s full-back Sam Hart and Connor Masterson, from the club's U16 ranks, who featured for the final 15 minutes of the tie.
"It was lovely to see Suso back as he's been down the same path as our boys here at the Academy and he came back to captain the side today," said the manager, Michael Beale, following the final whistle.
"He had a good loan period with Almeria last year and I think he was looking forward to coming back and pushing on in the first team here, but he picked up an injury, which was disappointing for him.
"He looked in a good place today. I thought he was probably the best player on the pitch in the first half - he's got great ability and he led the team."
Beale added: "We looked to replicate the first team's system with our three-man defence. It was a very attacking side and a young side as well. Apart from Suso and Samed, who returned after a spell out of action,the players were U19s.
"We've got a squad of 20 players out in Indonesia at the moment and we've recently sent Jack Dunn, Kevin Stewart and Lloyd Jones out on loan. So the fact that we can still field a strong side and play the way we did is very impressive."
Liverpool U21s: Vigouroux, Randall, Cleary (Masterson), Maguire, Lussey (Trickett-Smith), Brannagan, Kent (Marsh), Ojo, Suso (O'Hanlon), Yesil (Hart), Sinclair.