Martin Keown raves about Thiago’s display in Liverpool FC’s 4-1 win over Aston Villa

Martin Keown heaps praise on Thiago Alcantara for his impact in Liverpool FC's 4-1 win over Aston Villa in the FA Cup on Friday night

Martin Keown
Ex-Arsenal defender Martin Keown (Photo: BT Sport)

Martin Keown praised Thiago Alcantara for “unlocking the door” in Liverpool FC’s 4-1 victory over a weakened Aston Villa side in the FA Cup third round on Friday night.

Aston Villa were forced to field their Under-23 team due to Dean Smith and the rest of his senior squad being impacted by a coronavirus outbreak at the Premier League club.

The defending Premier League champions broke the deadlock in the fourth minute when Sadio Mane steered a header into the net past Aston Villa goalkeeper Akos Onodi.

However, Jurgen Klopp’s side were unable to add a second goal despite dominating possession in the FA Cup tie at Villa Park.

Louie Barry levelled for the young Villa team in the 41st minute when the 17-year-old managed to escape the attentions of Rhys Williams and finish past Caoimhin Kelleher.

Liverpool FC needed a reaction in the second half to avoid further embarrassment, especially after their 7-2 loss at Villa Park in the Premier League earlier this term.

Klopp opted to bring on Thiago for Jordan Henderson at half-time and the Spain international proved to be the difference thanks to his creativity in midfield.

Georginio Wijnaldum restored Liverpool FC’s lead with a brilliant goal before Mohamed Salah and Mane secured the Merseyside outfit’s place in the fourth-round draw.

Former Arsenal defender Keown hailed Thiago’s impact on the FA Cup tie after Liverpool FC’s 4-1 victory over Aston Villa in the third round.

“With Thiago coming on, it’s unlocked the door,” Keown said during his commentary on BT Sport.

“He sees the game so beautifully for Liverpool. He’s just what they need in midfield.”

Keown added: “He’s some player, Thiago. He’s got a beautiful skill set. Liverpool have been denied his services due to injury in the Merseyside derby but they’re going to see his benefit for a key part of the season.”

Liverpool FC will take on Manchester United in their next Premier League game at Anfield on Sunday 17 January.

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