In the end, the League Cup Quarter Final went pretty much as expected, with a more senior Aston Villa side dumping a Liverpool U23 line up out of the tournament.
With Jurgen Klopp's first team in Qatar, hours away from the opening game of the tournament, this game was always going to prove a task too much.
It was Liverpool's youngest ever side played in a competitive fixture - with an average age of under 19 and a half years old. Some two years less than a team that faced Plymouth in the cup a few years previously.
However, the reds equipped themselves well for long periods with a crucial lack of a clinical approach in front of goal the key decider between the two teams.
The reds weren't helped by two quick goals from the home side either.
A free kick from Conor Hourihane fooled everyone to squeeze past Kelleher in the reds goal, before a freak deflection saw a ball loop over to make it 2-0.
Villa added two more clinical goals in the first half to make the impossible task even more unlikely.
U23 manager, Neil Critchley, who was standing in for Jurgen Klopp insisted afterwards that "My overwhelming feeling was one of immense pride."
And many of Liverpool's youngsters equipped themselves well.
Harvey Elliott, the 16 year old summer arrival from Fulham, looks to have bags of potential. You hope he has the right people around him because he could go on to be a very special talent in future years.
Privately, the reds are likely to be somewhat relieved at the outcome. The League Cup semi-final stage still involves two fixtures, home and away, and the reds could do with as few games as possible in the coming months.