Villa was forced to field a squad of Under-23 and Under-18 players for Friday’s third round draw due to a coronavirus outbreak in the first-team bubble.
Many expected the youngsters – who were on average 18 years and 294 days old – to be kicked out of the water by a strong Liverpool side.
But the teams came in in the meantime squarely, with 17-year-old forward Louie Barry scoring a remarkable goal for the hosts to call off Sadio Mane’s opener at Villa Park.
Although it was an embarrassing goal for Liverpool to concede, Wijnaldum insists there was a relaxed atmosphere among the players at half-time.
“We stayed calm and we stayed calm in the dressing room,” the midfielder told the Liverpool official website.
“We said we shouldn’t go crazy and shouldn’t lose confidence because in the first half hour we did really well and created chances, but we didn’t score them.
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“After that the counterpress was not very good so I think it was a deserved goal from them because we didn’t defend it well.
“That’s what you get in football because when you don’t defend well the other team especially with their quality can create chances and that’s what happened and they scored a goal.
“There are a lot of things that can happen against any team, that’s what we said at halftime and we just changed a few things. ”
Liverpool’s calm in the interim paid off as they regained the lead thanks to Wijnaldum’s strike on time.
Mane added his second in the 63rd minute and Mohamed Salah struck two minutes later as the Reds completed their advance to the FA Cup fourth round.
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