Liverpool 2-3 West Brom
FA Cup Fourth Round, Anfield
January 27, 2018
Firmino 5′ (assist – Salah)
Rodriguez 6′ (assist – Brunt)
Rodriguez 11′ (assist – Gibbs)
Matip OG 45+2′ (assist – Dawson)
Salah 78′ (assist – Firmino)
Having been caught without an answer at the Liberty Stadium at the start of the week, Liverpool returned to Anfield looking for a turnaround.
In previous years Jurgen Klopp has fielded makeshift sides in England’s most prestigious cup tournament, handed debuts to Tiago Ilori, Joe Maguire, Kevin Stewart, Sheyi Ojo, Ryan Kent and Harry Wilson.
But this season the German has the squad depth to set his sights on silverware on the domestic stage, making just three changes to the side that lost in south Wales.
With Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino part of his starting lineup, Klopp will have been confident he had the firepower to secure progress to the fifth round, but instead he witnessed a laughable display.
- Firmino and Rodriguez strike in quick-fire opening salvo
- Rodriguez puts West Brom ahead before VAR rules out Dawson header
- Firmino then misses penalty awarded utilising pitch-side monitor
- Dawson cross forces Matip into own goal on cusp of half-time
- Salah claws goal back after Klopp’s triple substitution
- Liverpool knocked out of FA Cup at fourth round again
It took the Reds just five minutes to find the back of the net, with Salah taking advantage of an error from Jonny Evans to allow Firmino to lob Ben Foster for the opener.
But Liverpool were ahead for a mere 68 seconds, as Jay Rodriguez hammered home a stunning effort to equalise in style.
And the former Southampton striker had doubled his tally shortly after, tapping home from Kieran Gibbs’ cross as Klopp’s defensive line fell apart.
The Reds narrowly avoided further misery being heaped on them before the 20-minute mark, with referee Craig Pawson calling on VAR to rule out Craig Dawson’s header for offside.
Then, with Salah brought down in the penalty area, Pawson consulted the pitch-side monitor to award Liverpool with a spot-kick, but with Firmino stepping up the Brazilian fired it against the bar.
The relentless intensity halted at the break, but Liverpool were still unable to gain a foothold as West Brom presided over their two-goal lead.
The Reds did take control after those changes, and both Milner and Ings tested the impressive Foster with powerful efforts as they continued to knock on the door.
They did reduce the deficit with just over 10 minutes to play, however, with Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s cross rebounding off Firmino into the path of Salah, who buried his chance to make it 3-2.
Unfortunately, despite dominating in the final minutes, this proved to be the last goal, with Klopp suffering an exit in the fourth round of the FA Cup for the third consecutive season.
TIA Man of the Match: Roberto Firmino
Referee: Craig Pawson
Next Match: Huddersfield Town (A) – Premier League – January 30