Jay Rodriguez’ brace helped West Brom win at Liverpool in a thrilling FA Cup 4th round tie which was dominated by the Video Assistant referee (VAR).
In this game the use of VAR was used three times by referee Craig Pawson. Firstly by ruling out a goal for the Baggies, awarding Liverpool a penalty after Salah was tugged down in the box and Pawson delayed the game to confirm Albion’s third goal. The penalty given to Liverpool was a piece of history as it was the first time in the English game that a referee had overturned his own decision by using the on field monitor. However Roberto Firmino hit the crossbar from the penalty.
Prior to this Firmino had put the reds in front after a delicate chip over a stranded Ben Foster after a breakdown in communication between Foster and Evans. However Albion hit back 71 seconds later with Jay Rodriguez hitting a thunderous strike into the top right corner in front of the kop. Four minutes later Rodriguez managed to convert a low driven cross into the bottom corner leaving Anfield stunned.
Later on in the first half the Baggies had a goal disallowed with the use of VAR with Andre Marriner alerting the on field referee that Barry was in a offside position when Dawson put the ball in the back of the net from a Chris Brunt cross. Barry was deemed to be interfering with play as he was obstructing Simon Mignolet’s view.
In added time of the first half the third use of VAR was used when the ball flicked off Joel Matip into the back of his own net to put Albion two goals up. Jay Rodriguez had been offside earlier in the move but had not directly interfered with play, after a hold up the goal was given. A eventful first half to say the least.
Just before the last ten minutes Salah pulled one back for the Reds but Albion showed spirit to hold on for the win and book their place in the 5th round whilst also extending their unbeaten run to four games. This was the first time that an away team had scored three goals in the first half at Anfield since Real Madrid in a Champions League tie in October 2014.
4 – Liverpool have been eliminated in the fourth round of the FA Cup in all three seasons under Jurgen Klopp. Repetition. pic.twitter.com/3sRKCnncLJ
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 27, 2018
After such a great win against Manchester City, Liverpool have lost away to Swansea and have now been knocked out of the FA Cup by West Brom in their own back garden highlighting the inconsistency of Jurgen Klopp’s team. On their day they can be unstoppable and a joy to watch but the organisation of the defence always seems to be their achilles heel year after year. Record signing Virgil Van Dijk is still finding his feet after a excellent debut in the 3rd round of the cup but some reinforcements in the defensive department will need to be brought in if Liverpool are going to seriously challenge for the Premier League.