Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey insists Manchester City’s controversial opening goal against Aston Villa should NOT have stood.
Pep Guardiola’s side beat the Villans 2-0 on Wednesday night, but boss Dean Smith was left fuming over City’s first goal as Bernardo Silva benefitted from a dubious offside call.
Silva scored his first Premier League goal of the season to fire City to victory – but the decision to allow the strike to stand has sparked more VAR controversyGetty Images – Getty
Rodri came back from an offside position to dart in and dispossess centre-back Tyrone Mings, before eventually playing the ball to Silva who finished well past Emiliano Martinez.
In real-time it appeared certain the goal would be ruled out but instead VAR allowed it to stand, citing the laws of the game that meant Mings’ ‘deliberate’ play of the ball meant Rodri’s position didn’t matter.
Villa manager Smith was sent off as he raged to officials about the decision and after the game slammed the goal as ‘farcical’.
Mings also spoke out about the ‘nonsense’ rule that meant the goal was allowed to stand.
And Halsey revealed to talkSPORT on Thursday morning that it was the wrong decision, suggesting even current referees are confused by the offside law.
Getty – Pool Villa boss Smith was send off after angrily protesting City’s second-half opener[/caption]
Speaking on the talkSPORT Breakfast, the ex-ref said: “We’ve seen many changes to Law 11: Offside, and it still remains confusing.
“In that situation, everybody involved in football should know the laws of the game.
“It’s interpretation – did Tyrone Mings deliberately play that ball? Did he deliberately chest it down? As soon as the fourth official thinks Mings deliberately played that ball, that plays Rodri onside.
“Remember, being in an offside position is not an offense in itself, it’s when you become involved in active play, challenge an opponent or obstruct an opponent.
“But I think everybody in football would want to see that given as offside.
“In the Champions League, Europa League, every other league around the world, that would be given as offside.
“I think one of the problems is that assistants aren’t flagging anymore. It’s a real bugbear of mine. If that flag goes up when Rodri gets involved, no questions are asked, nobody says a thing.”
Never even heard of that rule, just let players stand offside, then run back & tackle you? In hindsight I should’ve cleared it, 100%, but didn’t even know that was the case. Nonsense https://t.co/2UiFEV9eqH
— Tyrone Mings (@OfficialTM_3) January 20, 2021
Villa duo Smith and Mings aren’t the only ones baffled by the goal, either, with talkSPORT hosts Ally McCoist, Alan Brazil and Jason Cundy all fuming about the decision at the Etihad Stadium, and even calling for the ‘horrendous’ rule that allowed Silva’s strike to be changed.
Rangers legend McCoist said on Thursday’s Breakfast show: “It’s offside! I don’t care what the rules say, I think it’s simple, if that’s not offside the rule is WRONG!
“The referee didn’t know, he thought it was offside as well!
“Rodri was gaining an advantage from that offside position he was in, so therefore it’s very simple, it shouldn’t count.
“They’re trying to say Mings took a touch and brought in under control – so what?!”
Breakfast host Brazil added: “The Premier League will stand behind this wording, but I thought it was very, very harsh.
Mings was baffled at the goal standing after being tackled from behind by an offside playerGetty Images – Getty
“Mings feels he’s got to get the ball under control with the insurance that Rodri is a mile offside and he can’t touch him. So something has got to be done about this, surely?”
“For me, it’s one of the worst rules in football,” complained ex-Chelsea defender Cundy on the Sports Bar. “It’s shocking.
“Yes, you could argue that Mings should have just cleared it, but when he brings the ball down he’s been tackled from the wrong side by Rodri who is in an offside position.
“By the letter of the law they got that right, but it doesn’t sit right with me.
“That law is an ass! It’s horrendous! He’s gained advantage by being offside!”
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