FA Cup, Liverpool beat virus-hit Aston Villa: Records broken
Premier League champions Liverpool reached the FA Cup fourth round with a comfortable victory over a COVID-affected Aston Villa. Villa's academy players with no first-team experience fought valiantly as it took Liverpool to get on top in the second half. Villa fielded a starting XI composed of seven under-23 players and four from the under-18s. Here are further details.
Sadio Mane headed in to give Liverpool the lead in the fourth minute. From there on the Villa youngsters remained resolute in defence and then stunned the visitors when 17-year-old Louie Barry equalized. The Villa youngsters looked tired in the second half as Liverpool exerted more pressure, scoring three goals in a five-minute spell after the break.
The Reds registered 29 shots against Aston Villa. As per Opta, this is their most in an away game since attempting 30 away at Bolton Wanderers in a Premier League match in August 2009. Mohamed Salah smashed his 17th goal of the season in all competitions. The Egyptian has raced to 111 career goals for Liverpool in 177 matches.
Villa's 19-year-old goal-keeper Akos Onodi made eight saves against the Reds. This is the most by a goal-keeper for a Premier League side in an FA Cup match since March 2018. Xherdan Shaqiri is the first Liverpool player to assist two goals as a substitute since James Milner did so against Spartak Moscow in December 2017 (3).
As per Opta, Louie Barry, aged 17 years and 201 days, is the youngest player to score an FA Cup goal for a Premier League team since Rony Lopes (17y 8d) in January 2013 for Manchester City versus Watford.