English League Cup: Liverpool lose 0-5 to Aston Villa
With Liverpool's first team in Qatar for Club World Cup, Aston Villa give Reds youngsters a lesson in football during 5-0 hammering to reach semi-finals
Birmingham: Liverpool's youngest ever team suffered a harsh lesson on Tuesday as Aston Villa ran out 5-0 winners to reach the League Cup semi-finals, with Jonathan Kodjia scoring twice. An unrecognisable Liverpool line-up contained five debutants and an average age of 19 years, six months and three days with the European champions' first team and coaching staff, including manager Jurgen Klopp, in Qatar for their Club World Cup semi-final against Monterrey on Wednesday.
That inexperience showed defensively despite a much better performance from the visitors than the scoreline suggests.
'We were unfortunate'
"I thought we were magnificent," said Liverpool's stand-in manager Neil Critchley. "We were really unfortunate to concede from a free-kick and a cruel deflection and find ourselves 2-0 down. It was an incredible night and no-one wanted it to end."
Villa keen to survive in EPL
Villa made 10 changes themselves with Premier League survival their priority and could have had a much tougher night had Liverpool taken advantage of a bright start. "It was a bit of a weird game, probably the weirdest one I've been involved in for a quarter-final of a major competition," said Villa boss Dean Smith. "I came through coaching those sorts of age groups. It was great to see them on that stage tonight, so we had to be very professional."
Harvey Elliot became the youngest player to ever play in the Premier League just a month after his 16th birthday last season when at Fulham before a summer move to Anfield. And he was the standout performer of Liverpool's young crop.
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