Aston Villa 1 - 4 Liverpool
Villa Yutes: Barry 41’
Liverpool Seniors : Mané 4’, 63’, Wijnaldum 63’, Salah 65’
Payback for last year? Kloppo shows little mercy by sending out a strong line-up to face Aston Villa’s academy players. It would’ve been a strong line-up for a normal cup match, but this feels like overkill. Regardless, we could certainly use the confidence boost that would come from a good result. So. Soz, Villa yutes.
GOAL! The way our attack has been lately, beggars can’t be choosers! The inexperienced Villa defenders give Sadio Mané waaay too much space to run into, and he heads home with a relatively easy finish. It was a decent cross from Curtis Jones for the assist, but both the cross, and finish, would’ve been better defended by senior players.
Unsurprisingly, it has been one-way traffic for the Reds this evening. Villa have hardly had a touch in the Liverpool half in the opening 20 minutes.
Sadio’s opener aside, the Reds are having another poor night in front of goal. So far it’s 11 shots and 5 on target, but just the one goal for Liverpool...and like that Villa score.
Goal. And Villa equalized on their first shot on target, because of course they did. Villa’s Louie Barry gets played through, and Rhys Williams cannot catch him. He coolly finishes the 1-v-1 past Kelleher, and Liverpool once again find themselves pegged back after a dominant performance.
Klopp makes a rare halftime sub, bringing on Thiago for captain Jordan Henderson. He wanted to save his center back options for next week, I suppose.
Salah appears to bag a scrappy goal, but the ref (incorrectly) thought he fouled the keeper. He was probably offside though. So, I guess fair?
GOAL!! Finally. Mo starts the move by driving into the box and laying it off for Minamino. Taki, with his back to goal, picks out an on-rushing Gini Wijnaldum on the edge of the area, and he puts it away with a hard, low finish.
Klopp brings on Roberto Firmino and Xherdan Shaqiri for Jones and Minamino.
GOAL!!! And that should do it. Mané gets a second, a looping header, that left the keeper with no chance.
GOAL! Salah gets his goal, with a rather easy finish from inside the area.
Well, we can at least relax for tonight, it seems. Three goals in six minutes tends to settle the nerves, so long as it’s not a Champions League final. Thiago has been superb since coming on, doing exactly what was promised on the tin.
With fifteen minutes to play, Klopp makes his last two subs: Divock Origi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Mané and Salah. Mané, once again, seems pissed about the sub on a hat trick. Save it for United, mate.
Liverpool are on to the next round. Yay? We made harder work of it than necessary, but a win will still do this side a world of good after recent results. Up next: a top of the table clash with Manchester United.