Liverpool lost to Aston Villa 0-5 in the quarter-finals of the League Cup of England, on 17/12.
For the first time in club history, Liverpool had to play two matches in less than 24 hours. As coach Jurgen Klopp and his first team went to Qatar to attend the FIFA Club World Cup, young coach Neil Critchley had to lead the U21 team to the quarter-finals of the League Cup with Aston Villa.
Liverpool thus set the record for the youngest squad in the history of the League Cup and also the youngest club history, with an average of 19 years and 182 days. The first five players wore the first team, while Herbie Kane first started. Across the front line, Aston Villa also replaced 10 positions compared to the starting line-up against Sheffield last weekend.
Young Liverpool talents are not afraid in the cold rainy night in Villa Park. The away team holds more balls throughout the match and also scores more. In just the first 10 minutes, Liverpool had no less than two chances to face goalkeeper Nyland but could not score.
The biggest difference between the two teams, besides experience, is luck. Aston Villa’s older squad that didn’t need to control the game was still leading 4-0 after the first 45 minutes. The home team only finished three times, all went to goal and had four goals.
Conor Hourihane opened the scoring in the 14th minute after a penalty from a tight angle. The ball went through a forest of players that made Liverpool goalkeeper Kelleher wrong. Only three minutes later, El Mohammady’s cross struck Morgan Boyes’s foot to change direction, flying straight into the net in Kelleher’s powerlessness.
The visitors were not dismayed after goals conceded. Liverpool scored three times more goals than Aston Villa in the first half, but they did not have the chance to score. Conversely, the home team just shoot is on. Jonathan Kodjia completed a brace in the first half, scoring after 37 and 45 minutes after Liverpool’s missed dribbles.
The second half saw a match between the two teams. The young Liverpool team remained loyal to the high pressing style that Jurgen Klopp built at the club, but lacked a bit of coolness in the finishes to get a goal. Aston Villa played leisurely but still scored another goal in the second minute of injury time, by striker Wesley.
Losing 0-5, Liverpool stopped in the quarter-finals of the League Cup.