Aston Villa defeated a young Liverpool side 5-0 as they progress into the Semi-Finals of the Carabao Cup.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa faced a fresh-faced, youthful Liverpool side at Villa Park this evening in the Quarter-Final of the Carabao Cup.
The opening minutes of the affair made the Liverpool side, featuring five debutants, look the more experienced as a much-changed Aston Villa line-up got to grips with the cold temperatures of this home game.
Harvey Elliot had a superb chance as he cut inside from the right in the 10th minute, firing a shot towards the top right corner of Orjan Nyland’s goal, but the Norwegian goalkeeper saved with a strong hand.
Orjan Nyland made another strong save from the resulting corner, stretching his leg to deny a clear cut opportunity for Liverpool.
Aston Villa took the lead through a Conor Hourihane free-kick in a similar position to that of the one that allowed Elmohamady to score against Wolves. Hourihane swung it towards goal where Jonathan Kodjia did enough to unsettle Kelleher as the ball settled into the net.
In the 17th minute, Aston Villa doubled their lead as Ahmed Elmohamady struck a fierce cross into the box which took a wicked deflection, looping over Kelleher and nestling in the corner of the net.
Harvey Elliot continued to cause issues for Neil Taylor out on the right-hand side, and did so by lobbing the ball over the Welsh international and allowing Christie-Davies to volley towards goal. Nyland was alert and saved well.
Jonathan Kodjia picked up his first goal of the season as Jota managed to capitalise on a mistake from Liverpool’s defence and play the Ivorian in. He rushed towards Kelleher’s net and poking the ball underneath the onrushing keeper.
On the brink of half-time, Kodjia picked up his brace as Jota played the ball wide for Ahmed Elmohamady who picked out Kodjia with a squared ball, and the forward slotted into the net easily.
The first ten minutes of the second half were quiet for both sides, but the 54th minute saw Orjan Nyland pull out another excellent reactionary save as a bulleted ball into the box deflected from an onrushing Herbie Kane. The Norwegian dived well to his left to keep his clean sheet intact.
Kelleher produced a strong save in the 60th minute to deny Jonathan Kodjia from getting his hat-trick, but it turned out the forward had been flagged marginally offside regardless.
The second half was showing stronger dominance, as was expected, from Aston Villa as Liverpool struggled to get out of their own half.
Trezeguet had two opportunities to score after the hour mark, with one trickling towards goal before being collected, and another where the Egyptian poked the ball over the bar from a central position.
Liverpool’s Longstaff was subbed off in the 64th minute for Bearne.
Jonathan Kodjia was replaced by Wesley with just 20 minutes remaining, perhaps in the hope that the Brazilian could get in on the goalscoring action.
The 75th saw Kortney Hause replace captain James Chester.
Orjan Nyland made another two saves, this time a little easier, five minutes before time to preserve his clean sheet.
With what was pretty much the last kick of the game, Wesley grabbed the fifth goal of Aston Villa’s night with a wonderful dummy initially to allow the ball to find Trezeguet, who played it to the Brazilian who finished well.
Aston Villa are now in the last four of the League Cup – did anyone expect that when the draw was initially made?!