• Thursday, Dec 02, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:15 am

Liverpool survive FA Cup scare from virus-hit Villa

  • Published at 03:36 pm January 9th, 2021
Salah
Liverpool's Mo Salah scores during their FA Cup third-round match away to Aston Villa Friday AFP

Villa team had an average age of 18 years and 294 days

Liverpool survived a scare from coronavirus-ravaged Aston Villa to reach the FA Cup fourth round with a 4-1 win against opponents missing their entire first-team squad as the pandemic wreaks havoc on English football.

Villa fielded a raw side comprised entirely of youth academy players and were without boss Dean Smith after being hit hard by a Covid-19 outbreak earlier this week.

In all, 14 unnamed Villa employees - nine players and five staff - have tested positive, forcing the Premier League club to close their training base Thursday because of the outbreak.

Liverpool played a strong side for the third round tie at Villa Park, but Villa's youngsters acquitted themselves well.

Four of Villa's starting line-up weren't even born when Liverpool midfielder James Milner made his professional debut for Leeds in 2002.

But they gave Liverpool a shock when Louie Barry cancelled out Sadio Mane's opener.

Eventually, the Premier League champions' class told with a blitz of three goals in five minutes in the second half.

Georginio Wijnaldum struck before Mane and Mohamed Salah sealed a first win in four games in all competitions for Jurgen Klopp's side.

Alongside the transfer of Ivorian Amad Diallo to Manchester United from Atalanta, there were some notable transfers in the first week of January as the transfer window opened in 2021.

Posted by Sports Tribune on Friday, 8 January 2021

Mark Delaney the Villa U-23 coach was deputizing for Smith.

That Villa, whose team had an average age of 18 and 294 days, ended the night with their heads held high was all the more remarkable given their CEO Christian Purslow's frank pre-match assessment. 

There are growing concerns over whether the Premier League season can be completed on time as the new virus variant plagues Britain.

The FA Cup has not escaped the chaos and Southampton's third round tie against Shrewsbury Sunday has been postponed after several positive tests at the League One team.

Derby County's first-team squad will miss their tie at Chorley Saturday because of a virus outbreak.

A record-high 40 positive tests were detected among top-flight players and staff in the week between December 28 and January 3 and four Premier League games have already been postponed this term.

The English Football League, which oversees the three divisions below the Premier League, reported 112 positive tests Friday.

Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce and Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa claim there is a moral argument to suspend all matches after the latest national lockdown ordered by the government.

Lampard has tinkered with his team repeatedly in a bid to find a winning formula and he knows it is hard to keep all his players happy

Posted by Sports Tribune on Saturday, 9 January 2021

Despite the resurgent virus, Premier League officials are adamant the season will proceed and Liverpool took advantage of Villa's problems to get back on track.

They needed just four minutes to take the lead when Mane headed home from Curtis Jones' pin-point cross.

Yet Liverpool were caught with a stunning counter-punch in the 41st minute.

Barry, a 17-year old striker who joined Villa from Barcelona last year, sprinted onto Callum Rowe's pass, left Rhys Williams trailing in his wake and planted a brilliant finish into the far corner.

If Liverpool were experiencing flashbacks to the humiliation of their 7-2 Premier League defeat at Villa in October, Wijnaldum restored order in the 60th minute when the midfielder swept home from the edge of the area.

Mane netted with a looping header over Akos Onodi in the 63rd minute before Salah turned to fire home from 10 yards two minutes later.

In Friday's other third round tie, Wolverhampton Wanderers beat Crystal Palace 1-0 thanks to Adama Traore's 35th minute goal.

FA CUP RESULTS

Villa 1 (Barry 41) Liverpool 4 (Mane 4, 63, Wijnaldum 60, Salah 65)

Wolves 1 (Traore 35) Palace 0

52
Facebook 51
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail