Aston Villa v Liverpool: Match in pictures
Aston Villa young star Louie Barry had to chase after Liverpool star Fabinho following the FA Cup third round tie on Friday night to request for his shirt back. Barry would not have been expecting to face off against the likes of Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah in an FA Cup match earlier this week, but an outbreak of coronavirus in the first team thrust him into the limelight on Friday.
The 17-year-old, who was on the books at Barcelona last season, was lining up alongside players from the under-23s and under-18s.
Liverpool were the over-riding favourites with Villa’s youngsters not tipped to be a threat in the slightest.
And it looked as though the game was going to head in only one direction when Sadio Mane gave Liverpool the lead inside four minutes.
But Villa’s youngsters held strong as Liverpool searched for a second and they soon began to grow into the match.
They began to win some of the 50-50s but nobody expected what came on the 41st minute.
Barry broke Liverpool’s high line to race past Rhys Williams before finishing neatly past Caoimhin Kelleher.
The teenager sprinted off towards the touchline as he joined in wild celebrations with his team-mates while Liverpool players could be seen with their head in their hands.
Jurgen Klopp’s side managed to avoid a cup upset with a dominant performance in the seocnd half, but Villa’s youngsters were still smiling at the final whistle.
Barry particularly was the man of the moment for Villa and he clearly wanted to remember his professional debut by swapping shirts with Fabinho.
However, almost as soon as the former Barcelona academy forward had given his shirt away, a Villa coach reminded him that he may want to keep the shirt he wore on his professional debut.
Hilarity ensued as Barry raced down the tunnel to try and catch up with Fabinho to ask for his top back.
And in a gesture of goodwill, the Liverpool ace let Barry keep his match shirt as well.
Speaking after the match, Barry spoke of the pride he felt at scoring on his debut.
“I knew I had it when I saw it… the ball in the back of the net is proudest I’ve been. Family screaming at the TV. I was just happy to score – hope I score many more,” he said.
“I was working very hard. When I celebrated everything came out of me. Relief. It was quite good.
“I’ve never been so proud of a team – from start to finish we gave it our all. Credit to ourselves and the club.
“I was cramping up a bit towards the end. You have to get used to it. With age comes physicality and good mentality.”
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