Aston Villa booked their Carabao Cup semi-final place by humbling a young Liverpool side 5-0.
Liverpool and Neil Critchley fielded the youngest team that the Premier League leaders have ever played, at a no younger average age than 19 years. A lot was made of it in the media, you would have thought it was the Super Bowl 2020 odds. Plenty of sides have played weaker sides for various reasons in the Carabao Cup and I am sure they will do so in the future.
Johnathan Kodjia’s hat-trick along with Ahmed Elmohamady’s deflected cross gave Villa an unassailable 4-0 half time lead.
Kodjia opened the nights scoring with the feistiest of touches from a Conor Hourihane free-kick wide of Caoimhin Kelleher’s goal. The Irish goalkeeper was unable to prevent his fellow countryman’s set-piece delivery.
Morgan Boyes’ own goal doubled Villa’s advantage before the half-hour mark.
As Villa made ten changes of their own, Kodjia staked his claim for more regular first-team minutes with his second of the night – assisted by Jota.
The Ivorian raced towards goal before finishing past Kelleher to get his 51st goal in English football.
On the stroke of half time, Elmohamady turned provider with Kodjia wrapping up the game up before the second half, as he poked in at the near post.
Wesley grabbed his first goal in nine games, which got the biggest cheer of the night. The Brazilian forwards brief cameo was worth the wait as he accurately added a fifth at Villa Park.
James Chester too received a standing ovation after starting and captaining Villa. The man who practically sacrificed his professional career for Villa’s promotion push has cemented a heroic status at Villa Park
Villa will entertain Southampton on Saturday as Dean Smith’s focus immediately turns to a relegation battle.
A little mention must go the Liverpool youngsters who did themselves proudly and if it was for some fine goalkeeping from Orjan Nyland, it could have been a different story on the night.