West Brom beat Liverpool amid VAR chaos, Spurs avoid upset

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 become 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. ‘MOCKERY’ 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. “I thought we deserved what we got today,” West Brom manager Alan Pardew told BT Sport. Pardew, reflecting on the VAR stoppages, said: “I don’t know, it was just weird. We waited so long for the decisions, the stadium was… [Read full story]

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