TEENAGER Louie Barry lit up Villa Park by capping off a fine team move as Aston Villa’s kids stunned Liverpool.
The former Barcelona youngster, 17, equalised in the FA Cup third-round clash just before half-time.
Louie Barry, 17, kept his cool to score for Aston Villa in the FA Cup against Liverpool[/caption]
Dean Smith and his entire first-team squad are self-isolating, meaning Mark Delaney was left in charge to field a team made up of Under-23 and U18 players.
The average age of the starting XI was just 18 years and 294 days.
But despite falling behind to Sadio Mane’s early header, the youngsters kept battling and got their reward on 41 minutes.
Callum Rowe collected the ball at left-back from Hungarian teenage goalkeeper Akos Onodi as the kids knocked it around confidently.
Rowe came infield before threading an inch-perfect through ball between Rhys Williams and Fabinho in Liverpool’s defence.
And Barry, who signed for Villa from Barcelona last January, raced on to it, getting across Williams who did not dare touch the pacey forward.
Facing Caoimhin Kelleher one on one, the former West Brom academy star made no mistake.
He kept his cool to tuck it home into the bottom corner and celebrated wildly with his fellow Villa youngsters in an empty stadium.
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Unsurprisingly, Barry appeared to be welling up slightly with emotion as the magnitude of his finish started to hit.
Jurgen Klopp looked shell-shocked on the sidelines as experienced senior players like James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Mo Salah tried to rally the Premier League champions – desperate to avoid an embarrassing exit.
And Liverpool ensured there was no further humiliation as they put the kids to the sword in the second half.
The Reds scored three goals in just five minutes to crush Villa’s hope, Wijnaldum, Mane again and Salah on target in a 4-1 win.
The 17-year-old sprinted away to celebrate his memorable finish[/caption]
Rhys Williams could not afford to make contact with the pacey forward as he raced clear[/caption]
His team-mates – all from Villa’s youth teams due to a Covid-19 outbreak – mobbed the former Barcelona kid[/caption]
Senior players like Fabinho and James Milner could barely believe what they witnessed[/caption]