Liverpool saved from FA Cup elimination by two controversial offside decisions
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Liverpool had two offside decision going in their favour to thank for earning a draw with Wolves in the FA Cup third round, on Saturday night.
Liverpool really needed to get back to winning ways, following their drubbing by Brentford earlier in the week, as they got the defence of the FA Cup underway.
It wasn't exactly the start that Jurgen Klopp would have been hoping for however, as they went 1-0 down in the first half, after a dreadful mistake by Alisson Becker.
At that point, the manager must have been wondering if he should have started with usual cup goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher, who was on the bench.
Fortunately for Alisson, they were level before the break, after Trent Alexander-Arnold's brilliant cross found Darwin Nunez, who put the ball into the goal.
And just seven minutes after the restart the hosts took the lead for the first time, when Cody Gakpo, on debut, played the ball through to Mohamed Salah, who fired the ball fiercely into the back of the net.
However, the Egyptian had been offside when Gakpo played the ball but he was saved by the fact that Toti Gomes got his head on the initial pass before it got to Salah.
Mo Salah puts Liverpool in front!— ITV Football (@itvfootball) January 7, 2023
Cody Gakpo's cross came off the head of Toti and found the Egyptian with loads of time to finish 👏@EmiratesFACup | #ITVFootball pic.twitter.com/TJg1A1kLSi
Whilst Gomes' playing of the ball meant the VAR officials got the right decision, many felt the rule was wrong and that he'd only have played the ball because of Salah's position.
"That element of football's offside law is pretty bad. Salah is categorically, by the law, onside but only because the defender deliberately plays the ball. Yet the defender only plays the ball because player is in offside position," journalist Colin Millar explained.
"The offside rule at the moment defies all logic. How Salah can be deemed as not offside is ludicrous.
"When the ball was played he was offside but because the defender headed it he then wasn't, yet the guy only headed it BECAUSE Salah was there. I support LFC btw!," a Liverpool fan added.
"Game is broken of that's offside but Salah's wasn't. Absolute bullshit," another ranted.
A fourth continued the trend, opining, "The ONLY reason he's tried to make a "genuine" attempt at the ball is because salah is there going for the ball... in an offside position. Will never understand how they keep giving those onside."
"Daft rule that. Salah’s offside and that should be disallowed. Defender punished for trying to defend," a final fan summed up the situation perfectly saying.
There was even more annoyance for Lopetegui and his side when Wolves thought they had the game won, after Hwang Hee-chan had made it 2-2.
Gomes thought he had redemption for his earlier 'mistake,' knocking the ball home from close range following a Wolves corner, and whipping his top off in celebration.
After several minutes of checking VAR, the officials decided to rule out the goal because one of the players was adjudged to have been offside.
Although it wasn't clear to most fans watching exactly which player had been offside and at what phase of play it had happened.
"I’m sorry, there is absolutely nobody offside for that Wolves goal," one fan said.
"Christ football is so corrupt. How is Liverpool's goal onside and Wolves is offside it’s the same thing," another angrily claimed.
Wolves thought they had a winner but a VAR check eventually confirmed it to be offside❌— ITV Football (@itvfootball) January 7, 2023
You've got to feel for Toti here 😕@EmiratesFACup | #ITVFootball pic.twitter.com/uhXs3qkXH4
A third fan called for others to explain the offside to him, adding, "Please tag me when you see why Wolves' 3rd goal was offside against Liverpool."
Journalist Liam Keen had a similar thought, replying, "I've seen a replay but I'm struggling to see why it's offside? If anyone can tell me I'm all ears."
And a fifth summed it up saying, "Wolves have been laughably robbed here. Can anyone explain that offside?"
The game finished all square, meaning the sides will meet in a replay at Molineux in the near future, and both will go into the draw on Sunday.
Featured Image Credit: ITV
Topics: Wolverhampton Wanderers, Liverpool, FA Cup, Mohamed Salah, VAR