Why Manchester United’s first goal against Man City was given by VAR in derby with Rashford offside
Manchester United secured an important 2-1 victory over Manchester City in the derby on Saturday afternoon, but the Reds’ first goal had to be awarded by VAR after it was initially ruled out.
Erik ten Hag’s side came from behind to defeat Pep Guardiola’s men, with Jack Grealish having opened the scoring for the home side in the 60th minute. However, the Reds responded well and levelled proceedings through Bruno Fernandes in the 78th minute – with the goal being given by VAR.
Casemiro did well and delivered an inviting pass for Marcus Rashford, however, the England international was in an offside position. He opted to leave the pass and as a result, Fernandes was able to run onto the pass and finish past Ederson in the City goal. The Portuguese ace’s goal was initially ruled out for offside, with the linesman immediately putting his flag in the air.
However, VAR Michael Oliver quickly checked the goal and adjudged Rashford had not interfered in play enough to disallow the goal, allowing it to stand.
In regard to offside, IFAB Laws of the Game state: ‘A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched* by a team-mate is only penalised on becoming involved in active play by: interfering with play by playing or touching a ball passed or touched by a team-mate.’
Discussing the goal, former referee Peter Walton, speaking on BT Sport, 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.”
He added: “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. He does neither, so as the law stands he hasn’t done anything wrong, it’s actually very good play from Rashford himself.”
It was Rashford who went on to score the winning goal of the tie, with the England international converting from close range in the 82nd minute. The Reds moved up to third in the Premier League table after the victory over Guardiola’s side.