Emirates FA Cup
Anfield, Liverpool, England
26′ Firmino missed penalty
45’+4′ Matip (OG)
West Brom progressed into the Emirates FA Cup Fifth-Round after they came from behind to defeat Liverpool 3-2 at Anfield.
Jay Rodriguez cancelled-out Roberto Firmino’s brief opener, before putting the Baggies in front, soon after. Craig Dawson then had a goal disallowed by the Video Assistant Refereeing system for offside before Joël Matip’s own-goal, before the interval, gave the visitors a two-goal cushion after Firmino missed a penalty, awarded by VAR. Mohamed Salah then reduced the deficit for Jürgen Klopp’s men in the second-half, but it wasn’t enough as Alan Pardew’s side held-on to progress into the next round, with the Merseyside club bowing out of the competition in the Fourth-Round for the third consecutive season.
The hosts briefly started the better between the two sides and opened the scoring in the sixth minute when Firmino delightfully lobbed Ben Foster, after Salah was initially denied by the keeper, following an error from Jonny Evans.
However the Reds’ lead lasted barely sixty-eight seconds as the visitors drew level through Rodriguez, who latched onto Chris Brunt’s pass before unleashing an unstoppable strike into the top-corner past Simon Mignolet.
Four minutes later the Baggies took a surprise lead. Grzegorz Krychowiak initially did well to evade the challenge of Emre Can before finding Brunt, whose low cross found the arriving-Rodriguez, who tapped-in from close-range.
In the 19th minute the away side thought they had a third goal when Dawson headed home from a Brunt corner, but after consulting with the VAR system, the goal was disallowed by referee Craig Pawson, who adjudged Gareth Barry to have interfered with play from an offside position.
Five minutes later Liverpool were awarded a penalty when Jake Livermore was adjudged to have impeded Salah according to VAR. Firmino stepped-up to take the resulting spot-kick, but the Brazilian fired the ball against the underside of the bar with the visitors clearing the danger.
In the fourth minute of injury-time at the end of the first-half, the West-Midland side found their third when Dawson’s strike from a tight-angle was turned into his own-net by Matip. VAR was referred to once again following appeals for offside, but this time the goal stood.
Three minutes into the second-half, Albion had the ball in the back of the net again when Dawson headed in Brunt’s miscued volley, following a corner, but the flag was correctly up for offside against the defender.
In the 78th minute the home side were given hope, when Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross ricocheted off Firmino into the path of Salah, who fired home to reduce the deficit.
Time was running out for the Merseyside club and in the third of four additional minutes, they went close to levelling the scores when Virgil van Dijk latched onto substitute James Milner’s cross, but his effort was saved at full-stretch by Foster.
The result meant that West Brom progressed into the FA Cup Fifth-Round, while Liverpool bowed out of the competition for the third consecutive season.