Conor Hourihane impresses as Aston Villa blitz Liverpool and Caoimhín Kelleher

Conor Hourihane impresses as Aston Villa blitz Liverpool and Caoimhín Kelleher

Aston Villa's Conor Hourihane (middle) celebrates scoring his side's first goal against Liverpool in their 5-0 win.

BANDON'S Conor Hourihan got Aston Villa up and running their Carabao Cup quarter-final victory over Liverpool.

Returning from injury, his free helped open the scoring in a straightforward 5-0 win. 

With the Reds' first-team squad on duty in the Club World Cup in Qatar, boss Jurgen Klopp had no option but to field a 'youth' line-up led by Under-23 coach Neil Critchley.

Former Ringmahon Rangers goalie Caoimhín Kelleher started between the posts as Tony Gallacher, Isaac Christie-Davies, Luis Longstaff, Morgan Boyes and Thomas Hill all made their first senior appearances.

Villa were also effectively fielded a reserve side that showed 10 changes from the team that lost 2-0 at Sheffield United in the Premier League on Saturday, with Henri Lansbury the sole survivor, though Hourihane would have featured in that defeat to John Egan's outfit had he been fit.

Liverpool's young guns started brightly but the home side took the lead in the 14th minute when Hourihane's whipped free-kick wide on the right eluded everybody, including Reds keeper Kelleher, and nestled in the bottom-left corner.

Kelleher made a couple of decent stops in the first half from Trezeguet but Villa cruised into the semi-finals.

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