Three major incidents in the first half of the Reds' 3-2 defeat required the intervention of technology - including the first time a
match referee has used a pitchside
television replay.
And although it eventually led to the correct
decisions being made the time it took, with
almost four minutes elapsing between
Mohamed Salah being fouled and Craig
Pawson awarding a penalty which Roberto
Firmino missed, left supporters and players
on all sides angry and frustrated.
It detracted from an impressive
performance by the Baggies, who became
the first team since Real Madrid in October
2014 to score three in the first half at
Jay Rodriguez scored twice in the first 11
minutes, following Firmino's opener, with
Joel Matip's own goal giving the visitors a
two-goal cushion.
Salah's first FA Cup goal, and his 25th of the
season, set up a thrilling finale but the
Baggies held on to reach the fifth round for
the third time in the last four seasons.
Firmino's clever sixth-minute chip from
Salah's rebounded shot after a
misunderstanding between goalkeeper Ben
Foster and Jonny Evans was cancelled out
just 71 seconds later when Rodriguez fired
into into the top corner after Georginio
Wijnaldum lost possession in midfield.
Rodriguez converted again, this time from
six yards, after Grzegorz Krychowiak sliced
through Liverpool's midfield.
The manic start was compounded when
Craig Dawson headed in Chris Brunt's 20th-
minute corner, only for VAR to spot Gareth
Barry in an offside position in front of
goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
Three minutes later Salah was pulled back by
Jake Livermore and - having not been
satisfied with the information he received in
his earpiece - Pawson made his way to the
tunnel to view the television screen.
Three minutes and 54 seconds after the
incident occurred the referee returned to
the penalty area and pointed to the spot but,
after Gareth Barry was booked for
protesting, Firmino rattled the crossbar.
West Brom losing Kieran Gibbs and Hal
Robson-Kanu to injury in quick succession
was only a minor sub-plot as despite all the
goals, delays, confusion and substitutions
Pawson played only four minutes of added
During that period Dawson broke free on
the right and his cross was touched in by
Matip at the far post but even that required
a second look by VAR to ensure Krychowiak
was not offside.
Early in the second half Pawson made a
quick check to video referral to confirm the
offside flag to deny Dawson another header
was correct - but there was no such
requirement just past the hour when Foster
poked a hand on the ball before connecting
with substitute Danny Ings.
England manager Gareth Southgate
departed early having come to watch some
of his World Cup prospects but left with
useful feedback on the use of technology for
his employers at the Football Association.
Ings and fellow substitute James Milner both
had chances palmed away by Foster before
Salah reduced the deficit, becoming the
club's third-fastest player to 25 goals \(32
However, Liverpool's 19-game unbeaten
home record ended as they lost back-to-
back matches for the first time in exactly 12
months, which was also an FA Cup exit to
Sky Bet Championship side Wolves.
Manager Jurgen Klopp has now failed to get
his side past the fourth round in three
The last time West Brom beat Liverpool in
the FA Cup they went on to win it in 1968
and while that dream may still be a way off a
fourth match unbeaten was an important
confidence booster for the Premier League's
next-bottom side.