Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has described his side’s 5-0 Carabao Cup thrashing of an inexperienced Liverpool side as ‘a bit of a weird game’.
The Villa boss saw his side book their place in the semi-finals with a comfortable victory over the youthful visitors, Liverpool fielding their youngest-ever side due their commitments in the Club World Cup in Qatar this week.
Jonathan Kodjia scored twice for the hosts, who were four goals up at the break courtesy of the Ivorian’s brace, Conor Hourihane’s in-swinging free-kick and an unfortunate own goal from Liverpool’s Morgan Boyes.
Substitute Welsey would score Villa’s fifth in second-half stoppage time to add gloss to the result, which in truth flattered Smith’s side who were made to work by a Liverpool side containing five debutants and six teenagers.
Smith revealed that he congratulated their beaten opponents following the contest, but admits it was a weird feeling to face such inexperienced opposition at the quarter-final stage of a major competition.
“We just told the Liverpool players, ‘well done’ and keep working at what they are doing. I love watching kids, I came through coaching those sorts of age groups,” Smith told Sky Sports.
“It was great to see them on that stage tonight, we had to be very professional.
“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.”
Villa return to Premier League action when they host fellow strugglers Southampton in a huge fixture on Saturday, whilst Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool’s senior side will begin their Club World Cup campaign against Mexican side Monterrey in Qatar tomorrow.