A very young Liverpool side crashed out of the Carabao Cup, being handed a 5-0 loss at the hands of Aston Villa on Tuesday night. With Jurgen Klopp and the main team in Qatar preparing for the FIFA Club World Cup game, their U-23’s were set out for a challenge.
It was incidentally the youngest starting XI the Reds had ever fielded in their history. While the teenagers were brave in mirroring their senior side’s fearlessness and philosophy, Villa’s experienced proved to be too overwhelming as they capitalized on their mistakes to get a comfortable win.
As the Villains comfortably moved onto the semi-finals of the competition, Liverpool now have one less competition to worry about.
The positives came in certain youngsters’ bright performance, while Villa gained further confidence in competing for a trophy this season. Here are Three Things We learned from the game.
Jurgen Klopp will be pleased with what he saw
Of course, the score probably tells the story that Liverpool were completely dominated, but that wasn’t the case at all. As a matter of fact, they had better passing accuracy than the senior team has averaged this season, proving how fluid and smooth their work was.
Ki Jana Hoever especially looked exciting down the right flank before limping off, while Herbie Kane also gave a bright showing putting in an energetic shift. Jurgen Klopp was watching and must’ve been buoyed by the fearlessness shown in his next crop of talents.
These boys will take time to adapt to his senior side’s intensity, but they have the mentality and ability Klopp’s looking to ensure the long-term dominance for his side.
Aston Villa have enough firepower to go all the way
For Aston Villa, the game wasn’t as easy as they’d thought it’d be, but they were fortunate to be handed too many easy-chances which they wouldn’t miss. Jonathan Kodjia had a blast bullying the younger defenders, while Connor Hourihane and Douglas Luiz continued their good work.
In the next round, Dean Smith will definitely play his most talented regulars. Considering the sparky talent they possess in the attacking department, Villa could cause a few upsets going forward.
They can be defensively strong when necessary and even if placed alongside heavyweights, they know the big sides will play reserve players. Playing against youngsters or reserves can serve as extra motivation for the players to put in their utmost effort to hand the Villans their first trophy in this century.
Harvey Elliot is destined for big things under Klopp
The real star of Liverpool’s Carabao Cup journey has been 17-year-old Harvey Elliot, whom the Reds rushed to get signed in the summer. It’s now understandable why they were so persistent with getting him signed, as the teenager put in another stunning showing against Villa.
He dazzled with his tricky movement, dancing past defenders and finding incisive passes with his creative nature. Elliot’s a joy to watch on the ball, possessing enough pace and technical skill to torment defenders.
If he maintains his stark rise as a menacing winger, it wouldn’t take much time before Klopp drafts him into the senior squad. Knowing the work he’s done with Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, the young Englishman could become the next big thing for Liverpool in the near future.