Final Result: Liverpool 2-3 West Brom
Liverpool’s winning streak got an abrupt stop last week against bottom-placed Premier League outfit Swansea City, which in turn made the Reds boss Jurgen Klopp cautious ahead of their FA Cup 4th-round tie against West Bromwich Albion at Anfield. The Baggies are also struggling for survival and opted to play with more freedom last night at Anfield. They got their reward of disciplined football and grabbed a stunning 2-3 win away from home to proceed through to the next round.
Liverpool started the game brightly when Jonny Evans’ howler eventually led the Reds to score an early opener. It, however, lasted for only seconds as Jay Rodriguez equalised following some disastrous defending. The midfield looked non-existent and the Reds paid the price when Rodriguez earned the visitors a lead in quick succession.
It was Craig Dawson then who scored the third for the Baggies but the goal was ruled out after applying VAR that revealed Gareth Barry was in an offside position, obstructing Simon Mignolet. Liverpool got the advantage of technology yet again and were awarded a spot-kick when Jake Livermore pulled Mohamed Salah’s shirt inside the box. But they could not convert it as Roberto Firmino hit the woodwork.
Liverpool continued their search for an equaliser but the defence let them down once more when Joel Matip put it into his own net in closing seconds and the VAR could not save Liverpool on this occasion.
The Reds looked no different after the break and despite Mohamed Salah pulling one back late in the game, they could not score an equaliser and force a rematch at the Hawthorns. Liverpool have now been knocked out from the fourth round of the competition for the third successive season and things are getting quite downright for Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.
Liverpool Player Ratings
Simon Mignolet (4.5)
Lost his place to Loris Karius in the league but was handed a start in goal against the Baggies. Kept on conceding goals standing at his place and looked demotivated and low on confidence throughout the game.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (5.5)
Tried to test the West Brom defence with his crosses but they lacked end product on most occasions. Struggled defensively and should have done a lot better to stop Chris Brunt down the right flank.
Joel Matip (4)
An absolutely disastrous night for the Cameroonian as he was not only at fault in Rodriguez’s goal but also put one into his own net to earn the visitors a 3-1 lead just before half-time. Didn’t improve his game after the break and almost invited trouble a number of times.
Virgil Van Dijk (5.5)
The new signing didn’t look convincing enough defensively and should have done better to stop West Brom’s second of the night. Yet, he was little better than the rest of the back four and tried his best to use his aerial ability up front to pull the equaliser in closing seconds.
Alberto Moreno (5)
His return from injury proved to be a disappointing one as he was at fault in conceding West Brom’s third and his touches let him down as well. Worked hard down the flank but failed to create a moment worth remembering.
Emre Can (4.5)
Another disappointing night for the German panzer who had some aimless runs, heavy touches and poor connections before being replaced by James Milner.
Georginio Wijnladum (5)
The Dutchman was running a lot in midfield but didn’t probably know what he was actually doing. Played square passes and lack of quality through balls made things even more difficult for the attackers.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (5.5)
Was not his night. He didn’t do anything wrong but wasn’t effective either. His set-pieces let him down and the Englishman was eventually replaced by Danny Ings.
Mohamed Salah (7.5)
Played his part in Firmino’s opener, did well to earn a spot-kick and also scored one in the second-half to raise some hope.
Sadio Mane (5)
Mane lacked decision making and was mostly confined by West Brom defence due to his own lack of creativity. Was replaced by skipper Jordan Henderson after a quiet outing.
Roberto Firmino (6.5)
Scored with a beautiful chip but everything went out of favour since he struck the woodwork from the spot. Kept on losing the ball and lacked enough movement inside the box for the rest of the game. Assisted Salah, who made it to 2-3 but it was far from an impressive night for the Brazilian.
James Milner (6)
Milner had a positive impact and tried to put the ball into the box to create enough menace. Also tested Ben Foster once with a decent strike only to be denied by the custodian.
Danny Ings (5.5)
Tested the keeper on a couple of occasions but he is not the solution to Liverpool’s latest woes and is yet to reach his best after a couple of season-ending injuries.
Jordan Henderson (6)
The skipper had a positive impact. His through balls and crosses were decent enough when compared to the horror show produced by the other midfielders. However, he failed to inspire his side to stage a comeback and register a late draw.