The Liverpool side that was fielded at Villa Park may have lost the game but they did definitely win the hearts of many even though they went on to loss 5-0 to Aston Villa.
The youngest side to ever be fielded by Liverpool came out right from the start of the game in full force with a relentless attack on Aston Villa. Their sheer tenacity and drive throughout the first half is definitely something they should be applauded for and be proud of.
How It Went Down
In the first 10 minutes of play, the youngsters looked like they were on track to take the game with a series of attacks that led to Aston Villa keeper Tom Heaton being tested by Liverpool’s Harvey Elliot as he managed to hold off an early goal from the Liverpool youngster just before the 10-minute mark.
Aston Villa was able to score the first goal of the night of a set piece from a free-kick just outside the Liverpool box that saw Connor Hourihane putting Villa in the lead with a goal in the 14th minute of play.
Liverpool was unlucky to concede an own goal in the 17th minute as a deflection off Morgan Boyes saw the ball flying right over the head of the Liverpool goalie Caoimhín Odhrán Kelleher and find its way into the Liverpool goal.
Even with this 2-0 set back, the Liverpool side did not seem deterred as they continued on their relentless attack on Villa’s goals with Christian Davis coming near to scoring for the away side in the 26th minute.
Aston Villa’s experience played to their advantage as Jonathan Kodjia worked his way through the middle of the Liverpool defense to score Villa’s third goal of the night giving the home team a comfortable 3-0 lead in the 37th minute of play.
He scored his second goal of the game in the 45th minute sending the teams into the half time break with Villa in the lead 4-0.
Unfortunately, the scoreline seemed to have taken a knock to Liverpool’s confidence as much of the tenacity displayed in the first half seemed to have diminished. The away didn’t put up much of a challenge in the second half as Aston Villa seemed to be taking the game in stride with their comfortable 4-0 lead.
Liverpool also seemed to show signs of fatigue which was a clear sign of the inexperience of the side.
Wesley Moraes who came in as a substitute for Kodjia who was probably taken off to rest up for Aston Villa’s upcoming relegation battles in their Premier League games scored Villa’s fifth and final goal of the night 2 minutes into stoppage time.
Aston Villa won the game 5-0 and now move through to the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup in which they will face the winners today face-off between Oxford and Manchester City.
What Liverpool’s Coach Had To Say
Neil Critchley who was in the dugout for this game for Liverpool’s youth squad came out in praise of his youngster commending their dedication throughout the game. He came out to say the following during his post-game interview:
“I thought we were magnificent from the first whistle. The start to the game was fantastic, we had a couple of chances, we were there from the first moment and we were really unfortunate to concede from a free-kick and a cruel deflection. You then find yourself 2-0 down thinking we’ve actually played well”.
“For long periods of the game I thought we were well in the game, but you get a harsh reality of the quality you’re facing. We ran out of legs and steam a bit in the second half, which is understandable, but it was an incredible night and I don’t think any of us wanted it to end.”
“The support we had was unbelievable. They were well aware of the team that was going to take to the pitch tonight and they’ve come here in their thousands and stayed until the end and clapped them. That was a special moment for myself and my players.”
The youngsters put up a good fight and the scoreline, unfortunately, is by no means a representation of the effort displayed by the young Liverpool squad last night and that feeling was also shared by the crowd who gave the young team a well-deserved send-off at the end of the game.