Game | #5563 | 

Season | 2019-20 |

Matchday | #21 |
Manager Game | #59 |
Tuesday, 17 December 2019
EFL Cup | Quarter Final | Home | Liverpool | Villa Park | 30,323 | 

19-20 #21 25
19-20 #21 25

19-20 #21 24
19-20 #21 24

19-20 #21 1
19-20 #21 1

19-20 #21 25
19-20 #21 25


Game Summary 

Manager | Dean Smith | 

KO | 19.45 |
Referee | Lee Mason | 

 HT Score | 4-0 | 
 FT Score | 5-0 | 
 FT Result | Won | 

Last 5 Games | DLLLW | 

Scorers | Conor Hourihane | 14' | Own Goal | 16' | Jonathan Kodjia | 37' | 45' | Wesley | 90'+2 |

Assists | Jota | 37' | Ahmed Elmohamady | 45' | Trézéguet | 90'+2 |

Team News |

10 changes to the starting line up with only Henri Lansbury keeping his starting place and Wesley, John McGinn, Anwar El Ghazi and Frédéric Guilbert rested to the bench with Tom Heaton, Matt Targett, Björn Engels, Marvelous Nakamba rested completely. Ørjan Nyland was recalled to goal as with the previous EFL Cup fixtures whilst James Chester was handed his first start of the season and recalls were given to Ahmed Elmohamady, Ezri Konsa, Neil Taylor, Douglas Luiz, Trézéguet, Jota and Jonathan Kodjia whilst Lovre Kalinic was named on the bench for the first time this season.

Line Up |

GK Ørjan Nyland |

RB Ahmed Elmohamady | ASSIST | 45' | 

CB James Chester | SUB OFF | 77' | 

CB Ezri Konsa

LB Neil Taylor

M Douglas Luiz

M Henri Lansbury

M Conor Hourihane | GOAL | 14' | 

W Trézéguet | ASSIST | 90+2' |

W Jota | ASSIST | 37' | 

CF Jonathan Kodjia | GOAL | 37' | GOAL | 45' | SUB OFF | 73' |

Substitutes |

CF Wesley | GOAL | 90+2' |  for CF Jonathan Kodjia | 73' |

CB Kortney Hause | for CB James Chester | 77' | 

Unused Substitutes |

M John McGinn |

M Jack Grealish |

RW Anwar El Ghazi |

RB Frédéric Guilbert |

GK Lovre Kalinic |

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 28.11 | 

Substitute Average Age | 23.75 | 

Oldest Player | RB Ahmed Elmohamady | 32.29 |

Youngest Player | M Douglas Luiz | 21.62 |

Not selected |

GK Tom Heaton |

M Marvelous Nakamba | 

LB Matt Targett | 

CB Björn Engels |

M Jacob Ramsey | 

CF Cameron Archer |

Unavailable | 

Injury | 3 |

CB Tyrone Mings | 8 Dec - Late Dec |

GK Jed Steer | 25 Nov - 2020-21 | 

CF Keinan Davis | 2 Nov - Late Jan |

Loaned Out | 6 |
GK Matija Šarkić | Livingston | 1 July 2019 - 31 May 2020 |
CM Jake Doyle-Hayes | Cheltenham Town | 1 August 2019 - 31 May 2020 | 
CF Rushian Hepburn-Murphy | Tranmere Rovers | 2 August 2019 - 31 May 2020 | 
CF Scott Hogan | Stoke City | 7 August 2019 - 31 May 2020 | 
RB James Bree | Luton Town | 8 August 2019 - 31 May 2020 | 
CF Callum O’Hare | Coventry City | 22 August 2019 - 31 May 2020 | 

Match Stats |

Possession F | 43
Possession A | 57
Shots F | 11 
Shots A | 15
Shots on Target F | 8
Shots on Target A | 8
Corners F | 2
Corners A | 7
Fouls F | 4
Fouls A | 8

 On this day 17 December 2019 

Villa's 21st League Cup Quarter Final since 1960 but their first since 2012

Match Report

*BBC Sport*

*Tuesday, 17 December 2019*


*Aston Villa overwhelmed Liverpool’s youngest-ever starting line-up to cruise into the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup at Villa Park.*
With the Reds’ senior players in action at the Club World Cup in Qatar on Wednesday, Under-23s boss Neil Critchley led a side containing five debutants and which had an average age of 19 years, six months and three days.

While Villa made 10 changes from their Premier League defeat at Sheffield United, their vastly superior experience ensured they lived up to their favourites tag.

Liverpool began brightly but conceded two freak goals in the space of three first-half minutes to allow the hosts to settle.
First, Conor Hourihane’s free-kick from the right deceived Caoimhin Kelleher, and the Reds keeper then saw an Ahmed Elmohamady cross deflect off Morgan Boyes and loop over him into the left corner.


Jonathan Kodjia added Villa’s third with a cool finish after Jota’s through ball before sweeping in Elmohamady’s cross from the right.
Wesley completed the scoring for the hosts, who reached the semi-finals of the competition for the first time since 2012-13.
Five-times winners Villa head into a two-legged semi-final in January, although manager Dean Smith might view forthcoming league matches against Southampton, Norwich and Watford - the three teams below them in the table - as arguably of greater significance


A unique game

Significant statistics were plentiful as the teams were confirmed.

At an average of 19.48 years, it was the youngest line-up in Liverpool’s history, eclipsing the 21.81 in an FA Cup tie against Plymouth nearly three years ago.

The starting side boasted a paltry 16 previous first-team appearances for Liverpool between them while their shirt numbers added up to 737.

None of the Liverpool players were alive the last time Villa won a trophy, when they beat Leeds to win this competition in 1996.

By the final whistle, there was a more sobering statistic. This was Liverpool’s heaviest League Cup defeat, eclipsing a 4-1 loss to West Ham in 1988 and a 6-3 reverse by Arsenal in 2007.

Of course, given the unique circumstances, the result should almost come with an asterisk. Football statistics do not work like that though, so into the record books the result will go.

Elliott's impressive contribution

When Harvey Elliott made his first EFL Cup appearance, he was so young he had to get changed away from his team-mates on child protection grounds as he was still to reach his 16th birthday.

He is still not old enough to drive and can’t turn professional until his 17th birthday in April but Elliott is clearly talented and against Villa underlined why Liverpool were so keen to persuade him to move north from Fulham in the summer.

It was Elliott’s early shot that forced Orjan Nyland into a one-handed save when the game was still goalless and he provided a terrific pass that allowed Isaac Christie-Davies to go close later in the half.

He played on the right wing but it is his cultured left foot that is his key weapon, making difficult passes look easy and always offering a threat to the opposition - even when they are seasoned professionals - when on the ball.

Watching from Liverpool’s team hotel in Doha, Jurgen Klopp is sure to have been impressed, as was Critchley, Elliott’s boss in Birmingham.

Job done for Villa

This was a fixture Villa knew was laced with danger.

Assuming it turned out as it did, it was always going to be dismissed as exactly the result that was expected. If they had lost, though, ridicule would inevitably have followed.

As it turned out, Smith’s side were professional and clinical, ensuring there was no need to call on substitutes Jack Grealish or John McGinn.

It was a good night for Villa’s £11m striker Kodjia too, who has been restricted to 41 minutes of action in the Premier League this season.

With first-choice forward Wesley struggling for form - the Brazilian’s injury-time effort was his first in 10 games going back to 5 October - Kodjia’s two-goal contribution was well timed.

The Ivorian’s first goal in particular required a calm finish after he raced clear following a mistake by Boyes.

Man of the match: Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa)

*Aston Villa manager Dean Smith on Sky Sports:*


”We just told the Liverpool players, ‘well done’ and keep working at what they are doing. I love watching kids, I came through coaching those sorts of age groups.

“It was great to see them on that stage tonight, we had to be very professional.

“It was a bit of a weird game, probably the weirdest one I’ve been involved in for a quarter-final of a major competition. They had technically gifted players, were tactically switched on and they made it very difficult for us at times.”


Liverpool's stand-in manager Neil Critchley on the class of Aston Villa:

"I've got to say that the conduct of the Aston Villa players all night was first class - the way they played the game and the way they looked after our boys,"

"They just said how difficult they made it for them and that we'd got some really good player, to keep going and good luck.

"For Dean and John Terry to come in and say the things they did to that group of players in there...

"They wished us all the best for the future, and it will be a moment I remember and the players remember for the rest of their lives, I think."

*The Guardian*

*Tuesday, 17 December 2019*

On a night when Liverpool’s next generation hoped to show their readiness for regular action at this level, Aston Villa’s 30-year-old striker Jonathan Kodjia seized his own chance to reassert a similar claim by playing a major part in Conor Hourihane’s opening goal and scoring twice on his first start of the season. That haul, along with an own goal by Morgan Boyes, earned a place in the semi-final for the hosts and taught Liverpool’s youngsters a lesson about the merciless reality of senior football. Wesley emphasised the point by making it 5-0 in stoppage time.

The scoreline made this seem like a caning but Liverpool were not quite outclassed so much as defused with mature efficiency and some rotten luck. Rarely in the club’s modern history could a Liverpool team be described as an unknown quantity but their lineup contained several players who might have been asked for ID at the entrance, not so much to check their ages as to establish who exactly they were. Their ages, having said that, were also remarkable as this was the club’s youngest starting lineup, with a few of the players barely old enough to buy a scratch card let alone to compete as equals against Premier League opponents. Or so Aston Villa hoped.

But the visitors were no raffle-winners: they were some of the most coveted emerging talents on the planet and this was a chance for them to turbo-charge their careers, especially as Liverpool had dangled the possibility of players who performed particularly well here being flown straight out to join the first team in Qatar.

As for Villa, this tie could practically have been billed as a damage limitation exercise for Dean Smith’s men in two respects: first, they needed to avoid suffering any significant injuries before a critical run of fixtures in the Premier League – they play each of the three teams below them in the table before the turn of the year – and second, they had to save face by not struggling against a band of rookies. Granted, Smith made 10 alterations to the side who began Saturday’s league defeat at Sheffield United but their team still consisted almost entirely of senior internationals.

Liverpool started with a 16-year-old, three 17-year-olds and two 18-year-olds, all led by the relatively gnarled midfielder Pedro Chirivella, age 22 and a veteran of precisely half a Premier League match.

The youths certainly were not bashful. They may be unfamiliar to the public but they are used to playing with each other and their cohesion showed. From the zippy way the visitors started it was clear that Villa were going to have their agility tested, especially their captain and centre-back, James Chester, who made his return to action after 11 months out with injury. At least he had an excuse for looking sluggish, unlike his teammates, as disjointed Villa were given the run-around for the first 10 minutes.

A slack pass by goalkeeper Orjan Nyland led to Liverpool’s first chance, with Herbie Kane blasting wide from the corner of the box. Then the Villa keeper had to make an excellent one-handed save to turn away a shot by Harvey Elliott. Two minutes later Nyland had to rescue his team again, this time denying Kane from close range after a clever chipped pass by Isaac Christie-Davies.

But top-level football is a harsh place and soon Liverpool’s novices were shown how unforgiving it can be. First, Villa opened the scoring. Hourihane curled in a free-kick from the right, with his compatriot Caoimhín Kelleher in the Liverpool goal, seemingly distracted by Kodjia’s attempted touch.Kelleher’s luck worsened three minutes later, when a cross from the right by Ahmed Elmohamady took a huge deflection off Boyes and looped over the goalkeeper and into the net.

Liverpool enjoyed no such fortune when Ki-Jana Hoever’s shot from the edge of the area took a nick off a defender and flew wide. By now Villa were engaged in wily game-management but the upstarts in white continued trying to perturb them. Elliott was a delightful pest with his wriggly dribbles and cute touches. In the 26th minute he scooted down the right before dinking a lovely pass between two defenders to Christie-Davies, who met it on the volley 10 yards out. Nyland reacted well to bat away the shot.

Villa secured the match in the 37th minute when Jota pounced on a hefty touch by Sepp van den Berg and slipped a pass through to Kodjia. He finished without fuss, which will do no harm to his cause of trying to take the place of Wesley in Villa’s regular starting XI.

Kodjia gave that prospect an even bigger boost just before the break, when he flicked the ball into the net from six yards after neat work by Jota and Elmohamady.

Villa saw no need to overexert themselves after the break but Liverpool’s players yearned for at least a goal to show for their effort. Kane almost got one in the 55th minute but Nyland denied him with a superb reflex save. Then Kelleher had some joy at the other end, tipping away a low shot by Kodjia.

Kelleher later stopped Mohamed Trezeguet and Henri Lansbury from increasing the scoring but he could not prevent Wesley from finding the bottom corner of the net with a cool finish in stoppage time.