Thursday, April 18News That Matters

Why Bruno Fernandes goal vs Man City was allowed to stand despite Rashford being offside

Manchester United equalised against Manchester City in controversial manner through Fernandes before completing a turnaround to claim derby delight at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Supporters were left bemused as to why Bruno Fernandes’ finish beyond Ederson stood despite Marcus Rashford being offside in the build-up. The England star was beyond the last City defender as Casemiro played a superb forward pass.

However, Rashford did not get a touch on the ball, allowing Fernandes to run onto it and place the ball past Ederson and haul United level, after substitute Jack Grealish’s second-half opener. Although the linesman’s flag initially went up, after a VAR check, the goal stood.

This is because Rashford was deemed not to have interfered with play before Fernandes struck, meaning the fact he was in an offside position was irrelevant. Former Premier League referee Peter Walton explained this while speaking on BT Sport.

“The law was amended to actually counter that argument of whether he touches the ball or does he interfere with an opponent playing the ball,” Walton said. “He (Rashford) does neither, so as the law stands, he hasn’t done anything wrong. It’s actually very good play from Rashford himself.”

Speaking before VAR awarded the goal, Walton claimed he thought the original decision would be overturned.

He said: “Well, let’s just say I think this is a goal. You’re quite right in saying that Rashford has moved for the ball, hasn’t interfered with the ball, hasn’t played the ball himself. The flag goes up because of the offside position but when VAR look at this and when the assistant discusses this with Stuart Atwell, I think this is a goal.”

Co-commentator Jermaine Jenas hailed Rashford for his play to avoid touching the ball, adding: “It’s really, really smart from Marcus Rashford and the City players are not happy. I think it is the right decision. They’re still arguing with the referee, but he’s not going to change his mind now.

“Rashford is in a clear offside position, there is no doubt about that, and he probably knows it. Bruno’s shouting at him now to leave it and the reality is he doesn’t touch the ball – he doesn’t seem to anyway. It’s a brilliant finish from onside. Old Trafford has come to life, and it’s come out of nowhere – City had full control of this game.”

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