Liverpool were stunned 3-2 by West Bromwich Albion in a memorable English FA Cup fourth round tie at Anfield on Saturday, amidst a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) dominated affair.
West Brom were denied a goal by the new VAR system and had another confirmed by the technology in a dramatic start to an FA Cup tie.
But it still saw them establish a 3-1 half-time lead over Liverpool.
With the Baggies already 2-1 up, they had a third “goal’’ chalked off by VAR, which is being trialled in English Cup competitions this season.
This was after referee Craig Pawson ruled out Craig Dawson’s effort from a corner kick after using the system to determine that Gareth Barry was offside and interfering with play.
But the anger West Brom felt at that decision was as nothing to their fury.
Liverpool’s Mo Salah thought he had been brought down by Jake Livermore inside the box and Pawson again turned to VAR for assistance.
Minutes passed, with spectators inside the ground uncertain as to what was going on — unlike similar systems in use in rugby and cricket.
Football fans are not informed as to what the referee is looking at.
Players from both sides surrounded Pawson who extended the process still further.
After the VAR, who was in a studio some 100 miles away from Anfield, appeared to have given his own judgment, the centre referee seemed to be bidding his time.
The referee — as he can do under the protocols — then checked the replay himself on a pitchside TV monitor.
Pawson gave Liverpool the penalty kick to the fury of the visitors, with Barry booked for dissent.
But the edge was taken off West Brom’s seething anger when Roberto Firmino’s spot-kick hit the crossbar.
There was still time in the opening period for yet another VAR review.
This was when Pawson signalled for a consultation on a possible offside before letting West Brom’s third goal stand.
A Joel Matip own-goal had put the Baggies 3-1 up on the stroke of half-time.