In the end, Aston Villa’s 4-1 defeat to Liverpool in the third round of the FA Cup on Friday night just doesn’t even begin to tell the whole story.
Dean Smith’s side headed into the clash against the Premier League champions without their entire first-team squad, whilst the manager himself was also absent from the dugout.
It meant Mark Delaney took the reins, and was forced to field a side full of players from the academy set-up. And boy did them do him, the fans, and the club proud.
After 60 minutes of the game, Villa were all square with the country’s best team, with Louie Barry’s late first-half equaliser surely sparking pandemonium from those fans watching at home.
But whilst the striker will naturally take a lot of the headlines for his goal, it was arguably centre-back Dominic Revan who stole the show.
The 20-year-old – one of the oldest Villa players on the pitch which is saying something – was a commanding presence at the back, and didn’t look at all ruffled at the prospect of dealing with the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
As per Sofascore, Revan made a whopping 14 clearances on the night, by far the most of any player, whilst he also put his body on the line and blocked three shots too.
Defensively, he was an absolute brick wall, winning seven out of the ten total duels that he contested, including all five on the ground.
Villa’s defensive record in the Premier League this season has been impressive, with just 16 goals conceded.
If Revan’s performance is a sign of what’s to come from him in the future, then Smith could be looking at a centre-back who is ready to stake his claim in the side for the next several years.