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Fans have been crying "LiVARpool" after Sadio Mane's goal against Villarreal was given despite a close offside call at Anfield.
After being frustrated by Unai Emery's side in the opening 45 minutes, Liverpool scored twice in two minutes early on in the second half of the Champions League semi-final first leg.
But the scoring was opened in the 53rd minute when a Jordan Henderson cross from the right was deflected in off Pervis Estupinan and goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli could only palm into his own goal.
Then, 1-0 became 2-0 in almost immediately as Mane latched onto a beautifully crafted Mo Salah pass to double Liverpool's lead.
INCREDIBLE STUFF! ⚡️⚡️— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 27, 2022
Moments after Jordan Henderson's deflected cross found the net, Sadio Mane doubles Liverpool's lead! 🔴
All of a sudden the Reds are dominating Villarreal 💪#UCL pic.twitter.com/PDphIrPTAx
There was a strong suspicion of offside but the mandatory VAR check ruled that Mane was onside - that decision coming despite many viewers disagreeing.
The call - and how quickly it was made by those manning VAR - led to reaction aplenty on social media:
Raheem Sterling is offside here, but Sadio Mané is onside? Interesting. 🤔 pic.twitter.com/1xt1N5d98R— City HQ (@The_City_HQ) April 27, 2022
That offside looked very suspect to me 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣— Tom Garratt (@Tgarratt10) April 27, 2022
Mane is about as offside as Sterling was in our game against them but guess what...... 1 gets given 1 gets disallowed— Warren (@warrenmcfc) April 27, 2022
Chelsea scored an identical goal to Mané's against Liverpool earlier in the season and it was called offside.. Liverpool do not get calls going against them ever it's ridiculous— 2x (@bdon10) April 27, 2022
Mane’s clearly offside at first glance lol don’t even need VAR https://t.co/Sk3HUZxofi— Pat (@PFrizz87) April 27, 2022
How is Mane not offside there. Different rules for Liverpool by the look of it. Almost alseep already at the thought of an all English final— Paul Mundy (@mundy_paul) April 27, 2022
Mane ruled onside but lukaku ruled offside against Liverpool for that??— Ej (@Ejfergy1) April 27, 2022
How cone Liverpool VAR decisions are so quick?— Brett Mendoza💙 (@BrettMendoza_) April 27, 2022
That Mane goal was more offside than Gross. pic.twitter.com/bURzxGxcRl
How was Mane’s goal not even properly checked by VAR? It looked offside lol— LF (@libbyfisherr) April 27, 2022
Strange that they’ve based Mane being onside from his foot rather than top of his shoulder which would make him offside. Very strange call pic.twitter.com/H4rWytfs4b— MerseysideBlue (@BlueMerseyside) April 27, 2022
How is this onside, I cannot understand, or am I looking it wrong. Clearly the arm of Mane looks right over the blue line or is it different rule for offside in @ChampionsLeague Pic: @btsport #UCL #LIVVIL pic.twitter.com/0I7Sc0UL4N— Bebek Bhattarai (@Bibyeck) April 27, 2022
Amazed VAR didn’t rule out that Mane goal for offside to be honest, didn’t feel like getting the lines out?— Tom (@t0ld95) April 27, 2022
LiVARpool are at it again, Mane goal could easily been given offside with the thick red line used by VAR.— Mark Farman (@DutchPigeon) April 27, 2022
Cheats never prosper they say, seems to be another myth #LIVVIL
Naaaa that Mane goal needs to be recalled! That was an offside by slightest of all margins! I know UEFA want a fiesty Champions League final for ticket sales, but come on dawwwgggg— Africa's 'Larry King'🎙🇬🇭 (@OleleSalvador) April 27, 2022
Bit baffled by that Mane goal. Looked offside and they confirmed it wasn’t in seconds despite it being very close. Even when they showed the picture, Mane clearly still looks ahead of the line. Very dubious decision that one— MerseysideBlue (@BlueMerseyside) April 27, 2022
Lukaku onside carabao cup final. Given off. Mane offside champions league semi final. Given on. The powers that be trying so hard for an all English final.— Stephen Dewsbury (@SDewsbury_) April 27, 2022
Many called out the perceived "double standards" in terms of offside decisions, pointing out that Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku and Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling were given offside in similarly tight calls in recent times.
Next up for quadruple-chasing Liverpool is a lunchtime trip to in-form Newcastle on Saturday, before they travel to Villarreal for the semi-final second leg on Tuesday.
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