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Job done: Mohamed Salah was on target in Liverpool’s win over a young Villa side

Job done: Mohamed Salah was on target in Liverpool’s win over a young Villa side

Job done: Mohamed Salah was on target in Liverpool’s win over a young Villa side

Sadio Mane's double helped Liverpool survive a major FA Cup scare against Aston Villa's plucky kids.

The Reds eventually clinched a 4-1 third-round win after Louie Barry's equaliser for coronavirus-hit Villa threatened to embarrass the visitors.

Mane struck an early opener, but Liverpool needed three quickfire second-half goals from Georginio Wijnaldum, Mane and Mo Salah to end the hosts' hopes of a stunning upset.

Villa's first-team squad had been decimated by coronavirus, with nine players testing positive along with five staff.

The game had been in doubt until yesterday morning, but disciplined Villa produced a dogged display, with Barry, goalkeeper Akos Onodi and Mungo Bridge announcing themselves.

Liverpool midfielder James Milner praised the efforts of Villa's young guns.

He said: "They did well. They're a good set of lads, honest, worked hard for each other, quality and they put a shift in. We expected that. We didn't want to take it for granted and definitely first half, getting the goal, we had to keep playing. We got the result in the end, but I think it's not an ideal situation for either team.

"You can never fault the effort of us, but at times, things aren't quite coming off for us at the moment and we need to keep working hard. You saw the attitude of the boys - we are pushing hard to put things right."

  • Damien Duff has informed the Football Association of Ireland that he is stepping down from his role as coach to Stephen Kenny's Republic of Ireland team.

Belfast Telegraph


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