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Wijnaldum reveals Liverpool dressing room reaction to shock Aston Villa equaliser in FA Cup

11-Jan-2021, 03:23 am

Georginio Wijnaldum Liverpool 2020-21

Georginio Wijnaldum has opened up on the reaction inside the Liverpool dressing room after they were pegged back by a shoestring Aston Villa side before half-time in Friday's FA Cup victory.

But they were forced to fight for that victory by a depleted home side crammed with academy players after a Covid-19 outbreak forced both manager Dean Smith and the first team into self-isolation.

In the former's place, youth coach Mark Delaney took charge and helped deliver a scare after teenager Louie Barry cancelled out Mane's opener just before half-time.

Speaking out on the match now, Netherlands international Wijnaldum has revealed that there was little panic to losing their lead on the cusp of the break, and that Klopp and his players treated their gameplan like they would for any other match.

“We stayed calm and we stayed calm in the dressing room,” he told the club's website.

“We said we shouldn’t go crazy and shouldn’t lose confidence because for the first half an hour we did quite well and created chances but we didn’t score them.

"After that the counter-press was not that 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 then the other team, especially with their quality, can create chances and that’s what happened and they scored a goal.

“There’s a lot of things that can happen against any team so that’s what we said at half-time and we just changed a few things around.”

The FA Cup remains one of only a handful of honours that elude Liverpool under Klopp's watch now, following their Premier League, Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup triumphs over the past two seasons.

“We said at the beginning of the season that we wanted to play for everything,” Wijnaldum added.

“Of course it’s difficult to play everything with your strongest team because during the season you play so many games, especially now, and you have to rotate a lot.

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