Another horror display by the defenders helped West Brom score three goals against Liverpool. Jay Rodriguez’s brace meant that West Brom stunned Liverpool 3-2 in FA Cup fourth-round win at Anfield on Saturday (Jan 27) in a tie overshadowed by the Video Assistant Referee, after Harry Kane spared Tottenham a shock defeat by lowly Newport.
A remarkable first half on Merseyside saw the Baggies, second-bottom in the top flight, race into a 2-1 lead inside 11 minutes against a Liverpool team pushing for a place in the Champions League.
Roberto Firmino put Liverpool ahead in the fifth minute after a mix-up, only for Roddriguez to hit back with two well-taken goals.
VAR, being trialled in English cup competitions this season, then took centre stage.
Referee Craig Pawson denied West Brom a third goal after ruling out Craig Dawson’s effort by using VAR to determine that Gareth Barry was offside.
Pawson then became the first English referee to consult a touchline monitor himself before awarding Liverpool a penalty for a foul on Mohamed Salah by Jake Livermore.
That prompted furious protests by the visitors, with Barry booked for dissent, only for Firmino’s spot-kick to hit the crossbar.
There was yet another VAR review prior to the break, before a Joel Matip own goal that put West Brom 3-1 up on the stroke of half-time was allowed.
Egypt striker Salah gave seven-time FA Cup winners Liverpool hope in the 78th minute with his 25th goal in just 32 appearances for the Reds, but Alan Pardew’s Premier League strugglers still booked their place in the last 16.
Earlier, fourth-tier Newport put themselves in sight of one of the all-time great upsets against eight-time FA Cup winners Tottenham thanks to Padraig Amond’s first-half goal.
But eight minutes from time, in-form England striker Kane equalised when he tapped in from close range following Son Heung-Min’s flick-on for his 30th goal this season.
And 1-1 was how it finished as League Two Newport survived four minutes of injury-time to hold out for a lucrative replay at Wembley, Spurs’ temporary home.
Welsh side Newport, a massive 72 places behind a Spurs side which is fifth in the Premier League, sparked delirious scenes at Rodney Parade when Amond gave them a 38th-minute lead.