Louie Barry was the name on everybody’s lips during Aston Villa’s 4-1 defeat to Liverpool.
In an FA Cup tie destined for the history books, the Villans were forced to line up against the Premier League champions with a group of players from the U23 and U18 squads respectively.
An outbreak of COVID-19 in the first-team squad meant that Liverpool shared the pitch with a Villa side whose average age was just 18 years and 294 days.
Barry scores vs Liverpool
And although Liverpool ran away comfortable victors thanks to strikes from Sadio Mane (x2), Georginio Wijnaldum and Mohamed Salah, Villa defied all the odds to find the net.
Yes, that’s right, for almost half an hour a side featuring five players who were born after James Milner made his professional debut scored against the 2019 Champions League winners.
And it came courtesy of the aforementioned Barry, who showed composure beyond his 17 years to capitalise on a defensive error and finish unerringly past Caoimhin Kelleher.
Barry’s post-match interview
You could tell from the celebrations alone just what it meant to the former Barcelona prodigy and regardless of the result, he’ll always have the memory of scoring on his Villa debut.
Besides, Barry was quite the celebrity for the night, going viral for a priceless exchange with Fabinho after the final whistle and producing a heartwarming post-match interview.
It’s often incredibly uplifting to see young players giving such candid reactions and this was a perfect example, so check out the brilliant footage, as well as the transcript, down below:
"I knew that I had it as soon as I saw it…"— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 8, 2021
"I've never been so proud, it all happened so quick!"
Louie Barry's post-match interview with @TheDesKelly will put a smile on any football fan's face 😁#EmiratesFACup pic.twitter.com/22nwGErprG
‘Proudest I’ve ever been’
According to talkSPORT, Barry told BT Sport: “It came from Rowey passing the ball through but I knew that I had it as soon as I’ve seen it come out for me.
“Obviously I put the ball in the back of the net and it’s the proudest I’ve ever been of myself.
“My family were probably screaming at the TV when it hit the back of the net and, yeah, I’ve never been so proud. It happened all so quickly. I was just happy to score and, yeah, hopefully many more.
“We were working really hard before and so was everyone else. When I celebrated, everything just came out of me. [It was] just like relief, kind of, so, yeah, it was good.”
Barry added: “I’ve never been so proud of a team before. From start to finish we gave our all. When I scored I thought we might even have a chance here, which it didn’t turn out to be but, [we were a] credit to ourselves, and a credit to the club.
“I was cramping up a bit towards the end but I feel like that’s just what you’ve got to get used to. With age comes more physicality, and mentality as well. It’s just a really good experience for all of us.”