Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round ties produced drama in abundance and a few shocks along the way. A recap of Friday night’s game is here. However, if you want to know what happened in Saturday’s action read on.
Welsh League Two side Newport County came within a few minutes of causing a huge upset against Premier League Tottenham at Rodney Parade.
Newport midfielder Bennett’s cross from the right found Padraig Amond at the far post and he rose above Kieran Trippier to head home. The lead looked set to be enough to send Michael Flynn’s side through to the fifth round.
However, goalscorer extraordinaire Harry Kane equalised with just eight minutes left on the clock after missing a number of earlier chances. Son flicked a corner kick on at the near post and the striker was there to score from close-range. The goal was Kane’s 30th of the campaign in all competitions. It was a vital one as it spurred his team’s blushes.
The two teams will now meet in a replay Wembley early next month, with the north London club major favourites to progress.
The Baggies recorded an away win at Anfield in a game that had everything, including now obligatory controversial VAR decisions.
Liverpool struck first on 20 minutes, as striker Roberto Firmino produced a brilliant chip from 20 yards out to beat Ben Foster after the ‘keeper had kept out a low effort from Mohamed Salah. However, parity was restored just two minutes later. Chris Brunt squared the ball to Jay Rodriguez just inside the area and the striker found enough space to smash a powerful effort past Simon Mignolet.
West Brom thought they had taken the lead soon afterwards, as Craig Dawson headed home from a set-piece. However, referee Craig Pawson consulted VAR, before correctly disallowing the goal, as Baggies midfielder Gareth Barry was standing in an offside position. Rodriguez doubled his tally from eight yards from a Kieran Gibbs centre to give the visitors the lead once more, as the frantic encounter continued.
VAR was needed again later in the first half. This time referee Pawson become the first British official in a high profile match ever to use the pitch-side screen to make a big decision. After three minutes, the referee decided that West Brom midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak had tugged Salah in the Baggies box and awarded a penalty kick. Reds forward Roberto Firmino stepped up and hit the bar with his spot-kick.
The visitors extended their lead in first-half stoppage-time. Dawson fired an effort towards goal that Joel Matip managed to divert past his own goalkeeper, as he attempted to clear. Pawson again consulted VAR for a possible offside but correctly decided to give the goal.
Jurgen Klopp attempted to shake things up by bringing on Danny Ings, Jordan Henderson and James Milner. Ings forced Forster into a save from 15 yards before the Reds did get a second goal. Firmino found Salah 15 yards out and the Egyptian fired a good low effort past Foster in the Baggies goal.
Klopp’s side applied pressure to the visitor’s goal late on, but the Baggies hung on for only their third win in their last 25 games in all competitions. However, all three wins have been in their last four outings.
Saturday’s other FA Cup fourth round results
Peterborough 1-5 Leicester
Huddersfield 1-1 Birmingham
Hull City 2-1 Nottingham Forest
Middlesbrough 0-1 Brighton
Millwall 2-2 Rochdale
MK Dons 0-1 Coventry
Notts County 1-1 Swansea
Sheffield United 1-0 Preston
Southampton 1-0 Watford
Wigan 2-0 West Ham
Sundays FA Cup fourth round fixtures
Chelsea v Newcastle (1:30 PM)
Cardiff City v Manchester City (4.00 PM)
Has VAR improved the football experience?