London: Aston Villa manager Dean Smith said his side’s 5-0 League Cup victory over Liverpool’s youngest ever side had been one of the weirdest matches he had ever been involved in.
With Premier League leaders Liverpool playing in Fifa’s Club World Cup 24 hours later in Doha, Villa faced an unrecognisable line-up featuring no senior players.
Liverpool’s starting side had only 16 first-team appearances between them and had an average age of 19.4, a club record.
Villa themselves made 10 changes from the side that lost to Sheffield United in the Premier League on Saturday, but were still put in a “no-win” situation against the Anfield kids on a strange night at rainy Villa Park.
“We had to be very professional,” Smith, who has taken Villa to their first League Cup semi-final since 2012-13, said.
“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.”