Nobody really expected Villa to have much of a chance against the Reds after they were forced to use their U23 squad due to a COVID outbreak among their first team, but Barry’s goal made the match interesting for a while.
Barry was understandably thrilled to find the back of the net against the defending Premier League champions, and he’s quite sure his family were as well.
“To put the ball in the back of the net, it is the proudest I’ve ever been. Family were probably screaming at the TV when it hit the back of the net,” said Barry.
Though Liverpool would go on to win the match 4-1 thanks to a quick three goals in the 2nd half, it was quite a performance from Villa’s youngsters to keep the Reds in check for so long, and Barry especially will cherish the memory of the match.
Fortunately, his coaches reminded him that he might want to keep his match shirt to commemorate the occasion before it was too late. As players often do, Barry had swapped shirts with Liverpool’s Fabinho at full-time.
Upon the reminder from his coaches, Barry raced down the tunnel after Liverpool’s makeshift defender to see if he could get the memento of his first-team debut back. In a show of class, Fabinho graciously returned the 17-year-old’s shirt.
“I remembered it was my debut shirt. I got his shirt as well, so credit to Fabinho. I got both of them.”
This amusing anecdote wasn’t the only wholesome moment of Barry’s post-match interview with BT Sport. Despite the loss, he expressed his pride and excitement at having given his team a chance with his goal, and he rightfully praised the effort of his young team that gave the champs a game for 60+ minutes.
“It all happened so quickly. I was just happy to score – hopefully I score many more. I was working very hard, and so was everyone else. When I celebrated everything came out of me. For the celebration it was relief. It was good.”
“I’ve never been so proud of a team – from start to finish we gave our all. When I scored, I thought we might have a chance. Obviously that didn’t turn out to be, but we were a credit to ourselves and a credit to the club.”
This was a match that many were dreading and criticizing for a variety of valid reasons, but it did give spectators a few fun moments, and it gave a team of Aston Villa reserves something to be proud of and remember for the rest of their lives.