Football law says that Marcus Rashford’s goal against Man City should not have stood

That is undoubtedly the main topic of debate from Saturday’s Manchester derby – should Bruno Fernandes’ equalizer have stood?

In the 78th minute at Old Trafford, the Portuguese midfielder converted past Ederson with a cool finish. But the goal was shrouded in controversy after many considered Rashford to have interfered with the game.

The England international did not touch the ball after coming from a clear offside position, but some were convinced he played a part in hampering City’s defense before Fernandes fired home.

In fact, former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech took to social media after the full-time whistle to voice his opinion on the incident. He wrote: “The first United goal just showed that the people who make the rules don’t understand the game.”

After the linesman initially ruled out the strike for offside, VAR was consulted and referee Stuart Attwell awarded the goal.

So what do the laws say about Rashford’s involvement in the goal?

According to FIFA, a player actively interferes with play if they touch the ball after it has been passed to them by a teammate.

However, a player can also influence play without touching the ball and should therefore be given offside if the referee feels that their offside position has interfered with an opponent – ​​for example by preventing the opponent from playing the ball or by obstructing a goalkeeper’s line. sight.

  • a player moving from, or standing in, an offside position is in the way of an opponent and interferes with the opponent’s movement towards the ball. This is an offside offense if it affects the opponent’s ability to play or challenge for the ball; if the player moves into the path of an opponent and impedes the opponent’s progress (e.g. blocks the opponent), the offense shall be penalized in accordance with Law 12

It also says the following:

“A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched by a team-mate is penalized only by being involved in active play by:

  • disrupt play by playing or touching a ball that has been passed or touched by a teammate or
  • disrupt an opponent by:
  • prevent an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s view or
  • challenge an opponent for the ball or
  • clear attempt to play a ball that is close when this action affects an opponent or
  • makes an obvious action that clearly affects the opponent’s ability to play the ball
  • gain an advantage by playing the ball or interfering with an opponent when it has:
  • returned or deflected off the goalpost, crossbar or an opponent
  • been deliberately saved by any adversary”

That said, VAR Michael Oliver believed that Rashford had not interfered in the play enough to deny the goal, and therefore let it stand. If you look back at the clip, no City defenders were in a position to touch the ball and guide it away from Fernandes when he hit the shot.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believed that the goal should not have stood. Speaking to BT Sport after the match, the Spaniard said: “Rashford was offside. He distracted the goalkeeper and our defenders.”

Bruno Fernandes also commented on the incident, saying: “I think because I faced the goal, Marcus thought I was in a better position.

“I didn’t know if any of us were offside or not, but it didn’t matter because nobody was near him, so the team [Man City] must defend. The only one close was someone close to me.”

Here’s how social media reacted to the incident.

One fan said: “I really have no idea what the offside law is anymore if Rashford is not deemed to have interfered with play or his actions affect a defender.”

Another wrote: “Regardless of the decision – which was wrong IMO – the law itself is a joke. Rashford clearly gets an advantage from being offside and the goal comes from that advantage. IFAB needs to continue with that review of offside.”

A third commented: “Walker and Akanji slow down due to Rashford being in the way. Rashford is out. SHOCKING decision.”

Let us know in the comments.

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