Liverpool’s youth-filled lineup showed well for itself in an extraordinarily difficult trip to Aston Villa on Tuesday.
The League Cup quarterfinal saw a Reds side with very little experience visiting a near full strength Premier League side.
[ RECAP: Villa 5-0 Liverpool ]
Ivorian international Jonathan Kodjia was simply too much for the teen-heavy Reds in a 5-0 win for Villa, but Liverpool still managed to outshoot the hosts 15-11 and hold 58 percent possession.
The manager for the day was 41-year-old Neil Critchley, who normally runs the rule of the U23s. He was emotional and impressed with his side.
“I thought we were magnificent. We were fantastic from the start, we had a couple of chances from the first whistle. We were really unfortunate to concede and find ourselves 2-0 down. It was an incredible night and no one wanted it to end. The support we had was unbelievable.”
Critchley said Villa boss Dean Smith and assistant John Terry were sure to prop up the kids after the game, who were put in a very difficult position by fixture congestion and Jurgen Klopp‘s preference to take every single veteran to the Club World Cup in Qatar.
“The conduct of the Villa players was first class. For Dean Smith and John Terry to come in to our dressing room after the game and say the things they said. They said ‘keep going, good luck’ and wished us the best. The moment I will remember and the players will remember for the rest of their lives.”
It was a great showing by the kids despite the score line, and Liverpool can be very proud. Youngster Harvey Elliott showed why he was signed with such hype, and goalkeeper Caoiminh Kelleher made a number of cool saves.