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FA Cup roundup: Liverpool see off scrappy Villa youngsters; Wolves handle Palace

FA Cup results

Aston Villa’s English striker Louie Barry celebrates after scoring the equalising goal during the English FA Cup third round football match between Aston Villa and Liverpool at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England on January 8, 2021. (Photo by HANNAH MCKAY / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by HANNAH MCKAY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

POOL/AFP via Getty Images

FA Cup results: A roundup of Friday’s third round action, where Liverpool made somewhat difficult work for themselves before eventually cruising past Aston Villa’s under-23 team, and Wolves did just enough to beat Crystal Palace to reach the fourth round…

[ MORE: Full FA Cup 3rd round schedule ]

Aston Villa 1-4 Liverpool

Liverpool needed just three minutes to find the back of the net and given the impression that a 15-0 final scoreline was very much a possibility. Sadio Mane climbed the ladder to get his head to Curtis Jones’ floated cross and head home the game’s opening goal. The immediate rout, however, was not on as expected.

Aston Villa’s youngsters, who were called into action against the reigning Premier League champions due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the first team, started slowly but eventually grew into the game as the first half wore on. Four minutes before halftime, something virtually unthinkable happened: Aston Villa scored to pull level at 1-1.

Heralded prospect Louie Barry was played in behind Liverpool’s defense, courtesy of Callum Rowe’s through ball, near the halfway and Barry raced into the penalty area before firing past Caoimhin Kelleher. Barry placed his strike just inside Kelleher’s left-hand post and wheeled away in equal parts jubilation and astonishment.

Liverpool appeared to have retaken the lead in the 54th minute as Mohamed Salah poked the ball over the line following a goal-mouth scramble, only for the goal to be taken away as the ball was ruled to have been in goalkeeper Akos Onodi’s hands when the Egyptian international struck it.

It was, however, a sign of things to come as Liverpool’s superiority was on full display. With Aston Villa barely able to get the ball out of their own half of the field, Liverpool had scoring chance after scoring chance. They started going in, en masse, right on the hour mark. Georginio Wijnaldum (60th minute), Mane (63rd) and Salah (65th) made it 4-1 in the blink of an eye.

Liverpool will learn their next FA Cup opponents when the draw for the fourth round is held after all results are in on Monday.

Wolves 1-0 Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace put up less of a fight than the Aston Villa youngsters, as they managed all of five shots (three through 75 minutes) in a 1-0 defeat away to Wolves. Roy Hodgson’s side was not only poor on the day, but appeared completely uninspired and lifeless.

Wolves weren’t exactly miles better than their Premier League counterparts, but they remained in control throughout the game and managed the situation quite well after taking the lead late in the first half.

Adama Troare put Wolves ahead with a well-placed, low finish from the edge of the penalty area in the 39th minute. Ruben Neves found the burly winger, who had a bit of work to do to create space for his shot. It didn’t have a ton of power behind it, but Jack Butland was nevertheless unable to scramble to his left-hand post to make the save.

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