Liverpool reached the FA Cup fourth round with a comfortable victory over a Covid-affected Aston Villa – but it took until the second half to get on top of a home side made up of academy players with no first-team experience.
A coronavirus outbreak at their training ground this week meant no first-team players were available to Villa, with the club fielding a starting XI composed of seven under-23 players and four from the under-18s.
But despite conceding in the fourth minute when Sadio Mane headed in, they remained resolute in defense for the rest of the half and then stunned the visitors when 17-year-old Louie Barry equalized.
Unfortunately for Villa, the youngsters tired and the Reds exerted more pressure in the second half, scoring three goals in a five-minute spell after the break.
Georginio Wijnaldum stroked in Liverpool’s second on the hour mark before Mane looped in a header and Mohamed Salah struck home a low shot from inside the area.
Source: BBC sports