Aston Villa’s Carabao Cup journey came to an end as they were beaten 4-3 on penalties by Chelsea following a 1-1 draw in normal time.
Timo Werner gave Chelsea the lead before 20-year-old Cameron Archer equalised with his fourth goal of the competition.
It was a much changed Villa team from the one that played at Stamford Bridge just two weeks prior but it was an equally impressive performance in many aspects.
Plenty of players got more minutes in the tank and many made a strong claim as to why they should be starting at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Although the likelihood of the aforementioned Archer playing in Manchester is slim, he certainly impressed and did himself no harm in potentially being involved with the first team more often.
Speaking after the game, assistant manager Craig Shakespeare was clearly proud of the way the young striker played on the night.
“Cameron’s come from nowhere really,” he said.
“In terms of being with us in pre-season, catching the eye. Obviously he scored the hattrick at Barrow but I was really pleased with his overall performance today.
“His work that he did without the ball. The work that he had to do to stop them playing through their sixes and then he scored a great goal.
“He can be pleased but you wouldn’t see that now going into the dressing room because obviously they are very, very disappointed.”
Shakespeare didn’t want to just single out Archer, though, and was quick to highlight some of the other players that took their chance on Wednesday.
“He wasn’t the only one.
“I thought we switched from a back three to a back four because we wanted to play players in their positions and we got a lot of players that needed minutes today.
“Buendia, Traore, El Ghazi, Marvelous, even Morgan.
“We needed to give them some minutes and we did that but I still thought we still looked a really determined, strong outfit.”