Liverpool are through to the next round of the FA Cup in strange circumstances.
Their opponents, Aston Villa, had a coronavirus outbreak among their first-team squad and were therefore forced to play their youth side managed by their youth coaches.
Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp decided to field a strong line-up with the likes of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah all starting.
This was surely going to be a comfortable victory for the champions.
And it certainly looked that way when Mane headed home after just four minutes.
The inexperienced Villa side must have been fearing the worst.
But as the first half progressed, the youngsters grew into the game. And then, incredibly, they equalised through former Barcelona player Louie Barry.
One of the biggest shocks the FA Cup had seen in many years was on the cards.
But everything changed at half-time.
That’s because a certain Thiago Alcantara came off the bench to replace Henderson.
Now, we are fully aware that Thiago was playing against a load of kids. But his 45-minute performance was an absolute joy to watch.
It took 15 minutes for Liverpool to go back ahead as Taki Minamino teed up Wijnaldum.
Five minutes later, the Reds were 4-1 up as two Thiago ‘pre-assists’ saw them eventually stamp their authority.
If you were unfortunate to miss Thiago’s incredible cameo performance, check out his best bits below:
Check out some of the best reaction to his performance:
Thiago’s Liverpool career is yet to really get going with the Spaniard struggling with an injury he sustained in a horror tackle by Richarlison in the Merseyside derby.
But now, it seems the former Bayern man is close to being back to his very best and that can only be very good news for Liverpool.News Now - Sport News