Aston Villa boss Dean Smith admitted his side’s 5-0 victory over Liverpool at Villa Park was a “weird game”, but was full of praise for the Reds’ young stars.
Visitors Liverpool – who fielded their youngest ever side – were 4-0 down at half time after a Jonathan Kodjia brace, but rallied in the second half and kept Villa out until Wesley’s injury time goal put the seal on the victory, and secured Villa’s qualification for the semi-finals.
Smith and assistant coach John Terry went into the Liverpool dressing room after the game to provide a supportive message for the defeated starlets.
Smith told Sky Sports: “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.
“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.”
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