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Former Premier League referee has his say on Bruno Fernandes goal

Former Premier League referee has his say on Bruno Fernandes goal

Bruno Fernandes levelled the Manchester derby up for Man Utd but Marcus Rashford was clearly in an offside position for the goal.

When the manager of the team who scored admits that he'd have been annoyed at the goal, you know something's not 100% right, but one former Premier League referee thinks Marcus Rashford's offside in the Manchester derby was an open and shut case.

Rashford was beyond the final defender and in an offside position when Casermiro played the ball that would lead to Bruno Fernandes equalising for Manchester United against Manchester City on Saturday.

The assistant referees flag went up straight away and Manuel Akanji, whose decision to stop running allowed Fernandes to get in and score the goal, and Pep Guardiola must have been pretty happy.

However, after a conversation between assistant Darren Cann and referee Stuart Attwell saw the goal overturned, before United went on to score the winner.

It was no surprise that anyone connected to City was annoyed at the decision and even United boss Erik ten Hag accepted their position, saying, "I can see it from the other side as well," the United boss told BT Sport.

Former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech went viral for his take on the offside, and most people were in agreement the goal shouldn't have stood.

However, former Premier League official Chris Foy, writing in his Daily Mail column explained that Attwell and Cann were correct to give the goal.

"It's no surprise that opinions are divided over Manchester United's equaliser but I can see absolutely no reason why the goal should not have stood," he penned.

"Assistant Darren Cann raised his flag after Bruno Fernandes put the ball in the net, because Marcus Rashford had been in an offside position when the ball was played through.

"Referee Stuart Attwell consulted Cann and between them they agreed that Rashford had not touched the ball nor had any impact on a City player.

"The offside law, Law 11, says a player can be penalised if he's interfering with an opponent by making an obvious action 'which clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball.'"

Fernandes celebrates his goal whilst City players protest. Image: Alamy
Fernandes celebrates his goal whilst City players protest. Image: Alamy

Foy's explanation continues what BT Sport pundit, and former referee, Peter Walton said at the time live on TV, but not with many people's opinions.

Essentially, as Foy wrote later, the decision was subjective and was decided on whether or not Rashford's run towards the ball changed anything for the defenders.

Speaking about his part, Akanji told BBC Sport, "I saw Rashford, he was clearly offside, so I played him offside.

"He runs until the last second and he stops when the ball is in front of him and he’s right in front of [goalkeeper Ederson], ready to score the goal, because Bruno Fernandes is shouting [at] him."

The centre back chose to stop running because Rashford was in an offside position so in that scenario, had the striker then stopped running, Fernandes still would have beaten the defender to the ball to score.

The counter argument that the England forward was interfering with play is also very obvious to give so it seems it does just come down to opinion.

Similar to Mohamed Salah's goal for Liverpool against Wolves in the FA Cup recently, the offside rule will continue to cause problems because officials are applying it correctly but it's the wording of the law that makes little sense.

Featured Image Credit: BT Sport

Topics: Football, Premier League, Manchester United, Manchester City, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford