Liverpool turned up at Villa Park eager for revenge following a 7-2 humbling by the Midlanders earlier in the season. Klopp's team eventually won the game 4-1 after being held by a young and spirited Villa team 1-1 until the 60th minute, when the Merseysiders banged in three goals in five minutes.
Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp commented on the win, which takes his team into the fourth round of the FA Cup:
"It was a tricky one. I've never before had this kind of challenge in my life, that you have no idea who you're playing against – absolutely no idea; that you prepare a meeting and then you can throw all the preparation, all the videos in the bin and then you have to start new,” the German said, quoted by SBS.
“Last year we played here with our kids and they gave Aston Villa a proper game as well. That’s just how it is. These young kids can all play football and if you don’t play well against them you have problems,” he added.
On 7 January, Aston Villa reported a COVID outbreak at its training ground – several members of the first team have contracted the virus and are now isolating. As a result, the club had no choice but to field a team of academy players consisting of seven under-23 players and four under-18s.
Thirteen months earlier, an inexperienced Liverpool team was hammered 5-0 by a senior Aston Villa lineup in the League Cup.