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Jurgen Klopp Told Young Liverpool Side to 'Keep Being Brave' in 5-0 Loss

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2019

DOHA, QATAR - DECEMBER 17: Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp  looks on during the pre-match press conference prior to the FIFA Club World Cup Semi-final  between Monterrey and Liverpool FC on December 17, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp delivered a message from Qatar at half-time as a young Reds side lost 5-0 to Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday. 

Due to a scheduling clash, Liverpool were forced to pick a side with an average age of just 19 at Villa Park because their first-team squad are in Qatar for the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup:

Squawka Football @Squawka

January 2017: Liverpool field the youngest starting XI in their club history with an average age of 21 years and 296 days. *1,073 days later* December 2019: Liverpool field the youngest starting XI in their club history with an average age of 19 years and 186 days. https://t.co/trGOWatliA

The UEFA Champions League winners play Mexican side Monterrey in the semi-finals on Wednesday.

That did not stop Klopp sending a message to his side when they were 4-0 down at the break against Villa.

According to Neil Critchley, the Reds' under-23 coach, who was in the dugout on Tuesday in place of Klopp, the German manager was keeping an eye on proceedings from over 4,000 miles away. He said:

"We had some information at half-time from the manager. It was to keep playing the way we were playing, keep being brave. He was out there watching with staff and players, and I'm sure he'll be proud of the way we played. 

"This is what has been decided by the club as the best solution, and try telling those players this has been a bad [experience] for them. Maybe one or two of our players will be sneaking off on a plane joining the first-team group in Qatar."

The Villa side that played on Tuesday was not exactly first string, with manager Dean Smith making 10 changes from the team that lost 2-0 to Sheffield United in the Premier League on Saturday.

However, in terms of experience, the hosts had a significant edge over Liverpool, and it showed.

Conor Hourihane opened the scoring in the 14th minute, and Morgan Boyes turned into his own net three minutes later.

A double from 30-year-old Jonathan Kodjia before the break effectively put the game to bed before Klopp could make any intervention.

Kevin Garside @GARSIDEK

Cue Jurgen Klopp reaching for the remote and going to bed in Doha. It’s goodnight Liverpool at Villa Park 4-0 and not yet half time

In the second half, the only goal came from Wesley in stoppage time as Villa made the semi-finals of the competition for the first time since 2012-13—they last won it in 1996.

Villa will now wait to see who they face in the last four. 

In the remaining quarter-finals on Wednesday, Everton host Leicester City, Manchester City go to Oxford United and Manchester United play Colchester United at Old Trafford.