Curtis Jones

Liverpool Aston Villa League Cup Kodjia
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Kodjia, Villa too much for Liverpool’s kids

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Liverpool’s kids didn’t wilt against Premier League side Aston Villa in a League Cup quarterfinal at Villa Park, but were punished on the scoreboard.

The difference was clinical finishing in a 5-0 score line, as Liverpool fudged its first half chances in front of goal. The Reds youngsters saw Villa keeper Orjan Nyland make eight saves on the day.

The Reds trailed by four at halftime despite a 4-3 edge in shots on target.

Wesley Moraes scored Villa’s only goal.

VIlla will enter the semifinal draw with the winners of three Wednesday quarterfinals. Man City visits Oxford United, Manchester United hosts Colchester United, and Leicester City heads to Everton.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Put in an unsavory position when Jurgen Klopp opted to bring nearly every healthy player with first team experience to Qatar for the Club World Cup, Liverpool’s kids were lively out of the gate. They showed their understandable immaturity on the stage in lacking the final ball over the first dozen minutes.

That’s when Villa took a bit of control and Hourihane spun his free kick into the goal, Jonathan Kodjia leaping to kick but missing a redirection bid to throw off keeper Caoimhin Kelleher.

Henri Lansbury prodded an own goal for 2-0 when his cross was deflected to fool Kelleher, who clawed backward but couldn’t find the ball before it looped into the side netting.

Harvey Elliott showed his style with a delightful little chipped pass that Curtis Jones used to force a save out of Orjan Nyland. Elliott was very good on the day, with 90 percent passing and a shot on target. Captain for the day Pedro Chirivella also made a good impression.

It was 3-0 when Kodjia blazed past the Liverpool back line to slide a pass beyond the reach of a splayed Kelleher. The Ivorian added a goal before halftime.

That first 45 saw shots on target in favor of Liverpool by just 4-3. Problem is all of the on-target Villa attempts plus the o.g. went in the Reds goal.

Kelleher made a great save on Kodjia’s 60th minute hat trick bid.

Liverpool announces changes to Club World Cup squad

Liverpool Wijnaldum
(Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images
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Georginio Wijnaldum is healthy enough to make the trip to this week’s Club World Cup in Qatar, but there is no such good news for Dejan Lovren.

Liverpool released its 20-man traveling squad for the tournament on Sunday, omitting Lovren and three youth stars from the provisional roster.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Harvey Elliott, Rhian Brewster, and Curtis Jones will now be available for Tuesday’s League Cup quarterfinal against Aston Villa.

Liverpool will meet Monterrey on Wednesday in the Club World Cup semifinal, with the winner meeting either Flamengo or Al-Hilal on Saturday.

CONCACAF Champions League winners Monterrey advanced to the semi on Saturday, getting a world class strike from Leonel Vangioni in the 3-2 win.

Liga MX has never put a team in the Club World Cup Final.

Liverpool lost the 2005 CWC Final to Sao Paulo in Japan, one of three PL teams to contest the final. Chelsea lost in 2012 after Manchester United won the 2009 crown.

European sides have won 10 of the last 11 finals.

Klopp hails Liverpool kids in game to ‘remember forever’

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We’re sure there are players who wouldn’t enjoy playing under Jurgen Klopp, but don’t count us in that group.

Liverpool’s manager summed up his attitude after his Reds came back from a 4-2 deficit to beat Arsenal in penalty kicks following a 5-5 score line after regulation in the League Cup.

“If you don’t win nobody remembers it in three years, if it works out the boys will remember it forever,” he said.

[ MORE: Match recap | GK hero reacts ]

Klopp put his faith deep in his squad for Wednesday’s unreal thriller, and was brimming with pride after several youngsters lifted Liverpool into the next round.

Caoimhin Kelleher stood tall to make the decisive penalty despite allowing five goals in his first senior start at Anfield, while 18-year-olds Curtis Jones and Neco Williams played big roles in the comeback. Jones scored the final penalty in the shootout, and Williams assisted on Origi’s stoppage time equalizer.

More from Klopp, via the BBC:

“Kelleher is an outstanding talent,” Klopp said. “The crossing from Williams, he might not thought he would play tonight. Jones… it was not my decision in the end for him to take the last penalty. When I saw the list Origi was the taker of the last one and they changed it obviously.

“We can talk about tactics but who cares on a night like this? I hoped for the boys they would have a game to remember. What they did tonight, I lost it really.”

Look at the photo above: That’s pure joy from Klopp. You might not love his touch line antics, but he loves the game for what it is and what it delivers. Respect.

Liverpool is onto the quarterfinals, where it will meet one of Manchester City, Everton, Manchester United, Colchester United, Oxford United, Leicester City, or Aston Villa.