Jurgen Klopp says he has never before had to prepare for a game like Liverpool’s trip to Aston Villa.
The Reds beat an inexperienced Villa team 4-1 to move into the fourth round of the FA Cup on Friday evening.
Villa closed their Bodymoor Heath training ground, cancelled the pre-match press conference and discussed the next steps with the Football Association before the decision to play the game was taken on Friday morning.
Klopp said that the pre-match analysis work on Villa was put “in the bin” by the news and admitted he knew little of the academy players the hosts were forced to field.
He said: “It was a tricky one and I’ve never had before in my life a challenge like this where you have no idea who you are playing against.
“You prepare a meeting and then you can throw all the preparation videos in the bin and you have to start a new.
“It’s football and academy players are good players. Last year, we played here with ours (in the Carabao Cup) and they gave Aston Villa a proper game as well, that is just how it is.
“So they can all play football and if you don’t play well against them you have problems.”
Sadio Mane’s goal gave the visitors an early lead before Louie Barry forced a surprise equaliser for the teenage debutants.
Klopp was much happier with what he witnessed in the second-half however, as Gini Wijnaldum, Mane and Mohamed Salah all scored in a five-minute blitz after the hour mark.
“In the second half, we played exactly like we should have done from the beginning and that was the right way,” Klopp added.
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“It’s the same pretty much, the boys did really well and the kids [for Villa] did really well, so it was clear we scored an early goal, a nice one, and then we didn’t play quick enough.
“We didn’t move fast enough and play the right spaces. These are football problems and in the second half, we solved football problems with football, so I am really fine with it.”