Jurgen Klopp has admitted that his Liverpool side were caused "football problems" by Aston Villa's cobbled-together team of youngsters.
VIlla had been hit by a total of 14 Covid-19 positive tests prior to the match and, with all of their first team squad and staff isolating, were forced to field a reserve side against the Premier League champions.
Liverpool eventually emerged 4-1 victors but Klopp has admitted that the encounter was far from easy.
"The kids did really well - that's good. We had football problems. We needed a little bit longer but then it was completely clear," he told BT Sport.
"Problems in passing and moving. Too many on the wrong side of the ball - not enough recoveries of passes. We had chances and shot the ball directly at the goalie - we changed it in the second half.
"It was rusty but better in the second half. Against Southampton [1-0 defeat] from the first second they were more on the pitch but that was not the case today."
Meanwhile. Villa's goalscorer, 17-year-old Louie Barry, has spoken of the feeling of elation he had when finding the back of the net to pull his side level just before the break.
"I knew I had it when I saw it... the ball in the back of the net is proudest I've been. Family screaming at the TV. I was just happy to score - hope I score many more.
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"I was working very hard. When I celebrated everything came out of me. Relief. It was quite good.
"I've never been so proud of a team - from start to finish we gave it our all. Credit to ourselves and the club.
"I was cramping up a bit towards the end. You have to get used to it. With age comes physicality and good mentality."