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Stand-in manager proud of Liverpool kids after 5-0 loss at Villa

Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on December 18, 2019 - Duration: 01:02s

Stand-in manager proud of Liverpool kids after 5-0 loss at Villa

Neil Critchley says he is "incredibly proud" of his side's performance against Aston Villa.

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Stand-in manager proud of Liverpool kids after 5-0 loss at Villa

SHOWS: BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND, UK (DECEMBER 17, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) LIVERPOOL STAND-IN MANAGER, NEIL CRITCHLEY, SAYING: "Yeah we don't want the night to end.

Even speaking here with you guys now.

This is a great experience so, I'll stay here all night if you want and have a chat with you.

You probably want to go home, but if you want me to talk about those players in there tonight I'll be here all night.

I thought we were - I was incredibly proud of the way our players played the game tonight and how we approached the game.

Our pressing, our counter pressing.

I was part of it and I was with them on the touchline.

The staff was part of it and I say I'm just fortunate to share something special with those group of players and staff tonight.

And I've got to say, I'll say it again, the support that we had.

I mean it's Christmas, they're well aware of the team that was going to be on that pitch tonight and they came in their thousands and they stayed right to the end and clapped all those young players off the pitch.

It shows what a special football club this is." STORY: Aston Villa beat Liverpool's youngest-ever side 5-0 with a double by Jonathan Kodjia helping them into the League Cup semi-finals on a strange night at Villa Park on Tuesday (December 17).

With Premier League leaders Liverpool playing in FIFA's Club World Cup 24 hours later in Doha, they fielded a starting lineup consisting mainly of reserves and youth team players with an average age of 19.4, a club record.

Despite their inexperience Liverpool's youngsters acquitted themselves well and matched a Villa side, showing 10 changes from their weekend Premier League defeat by Sheffield United, for much of a game that did not reflect well on the League Cup.

Liverpool's senior players and manager Juergen Klopp, watching on TV in Qatar, would have been impressed with the way they started with 16-year-old Harvey Elliott catching the eye.

But Villa went ahead in the 14th minute through Conor Hourihane's free kick, with Kodjia just failing to get a touch.

Morgan Boyes, one of five Liverpool debutants, deflected Ahmed Elmohamady's free kick up and over his own keeper Caoimhin Kelleher three minutes later before 30-year-old Kodjia ran through to slot home his side's third goal in the 37th.

Kodjia made it 4-0 just before halftime to end the match as a contest.

Although Liverpool carved out several good chances after the break, Villa added a fifth goal in stoppage time with record signing Wesley steering home after coming off the bench.

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