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FA Cup Liverpool 2-3 West Bromwich Albion

JAMES NALTON reports from Anfield

LIVERPOOL were knocked out of the FA Cup at the hands of West Bromwich Albion yesterday, despite several VAR interventions in their favour.

Alan Pardew raised issues with the new technology after his side had a goal disallowed and conceded a penalty as a result of video reviews, but still managed to put three past the hopeless home side.

“The biggest worry for me was the four minutes for the Salah penalty decision,” said the Baggies manager. 

“You are going from a high-tempo workrate to nothing and then we had a hamstring injury just after. 

“As a coach should I have got our players to keep warmed-up and ticking over in that situation? I don’t know. It was bizarre. There was a lot of Scouse wit from the sideline which I enjoyed.”

The possibility of injury after long breaks in play hasn’t often been raised in the VAR debate, and Kieran Gibbs’s sprint for a ball against Emre Can meant his part in the game was over.

The visitors were forced into two substitutions in the first half due to the injuries to Gibbs and Hal Robson-Kanu, but by that time they were ahead thanks to two clinical finishes from Jay Rodriguez, and some industrious play in defence and midfield.

A third came in a period of first-half injury time which, after three goals, two substitutions, and numerous VAR stoppages, should have been much longer than the four minutes added on. Craig Dawson crossed into the danger area and Joel Matip turned the ball into his own goal as he unwisely attempted a back-heeled clearance.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was more welcoming of the technology, but says it may take some time to iron out its flaws.

“Of course it will change things,” said the German. 

“I think it’s important as that’s what we always wanted. If a goal should be disallowed, it is disallowed. 

“It’s normal that in the beginning that it takes a little bit longer, but I think that will become more fluent and smoother in the future.”

Klopp saw his side open the scoring when Roberto Firmino chipped the ball over Ben Foster after the West Brom keeper had saved well from Mohamed Salah.

Firmino missed the penalty which was awarded after checking the replay, and Salah got his goal in the second half, but it still wasn’t enough to force a replay.

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