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Pep Guardiola Believes Marcus Rashford Was Offside For Man Utd’s First Goal In Derby Win

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Pep Guardiola believes Manchester United’s first goal against his City side should have been ruled out for offside by Marcus Rashford, as the forward was “intervening” in the move that saw the derby turn on its head.

City saw their 1-0 lead at Old Trafford overturned when Bruno Fernandes curled home before Rashford netted the winning goal three minutes later – but the first goal was clouded in controversy.

Casemiro played a ball forward towards Rashford – standing in an offside position and trying to get onto the pass. The United forward then realised Fernandes – in an onside position – was better placed and the midfielder ran on to score.

Rashford did not touch any player in the move, but did make a clear attempt to get onto the end of the pass.

Guardiola believes Rashford was affecting play by interfering with City defender Manuel Akanji’s defensive run, which would make him offside according to the rulebook.

“Manu Akanji stops the line [of running],” said Guardiola. “If he knows that he will go with Rashford, he will go back with him and do the duel one versus one, and he sees what happens. But he [Rashford] intervenes in the action.

“But the referee decided he did not intervene in this stadium. It’s ok, what are we going to do? Are we going to make a complaint? No. Congratulations on that. Sometimes it happens in our [favor]. Sometimes [it’s like] that.

“The decision is they didn’t believe he [impacted the play]. Rashford was intervening in this action when this happened. It’s Old Trafford. We have to play much better. Like it’s Anfield. We have to do better.

“The rule is the rule, and the interpretation belongs to the referee. I say Rashford is offside; Bruno is not. The situation is for the referees.”

Guardiola gave the example that an offside player standing in the line of the goalkeeper’s vision from a team-mate’s shot is usually penalized – and this was a similar scenario.

However, the City manager was more focused on how his side could have defended better in the minutes after Fernandes’ equalizer. Rashford tapped home from Alejandro Garnacho’s cross just three minutes and 46 seconds after United’s first goal.

“Rashford is offside. Bruno Fernandes is not offside. The question is intervening or not intervening in the action,” said Guardiola. “When one player shoots and [another] player is in front of the keeper and does not touch the ball, it’s disallowed all the time.

“The decision is, of course, [belonging to] the referees and VAR. We follow the action, we don’t make an offside [appeal], we follow the step, and after the action, it’s either Ederson intervenes [with a save] or not.

“What can we improve? After we conceded the goal, in the next few minutes, we could not concede the next one. We allowed them to score. Come, come, come. This is the most important detail we must improve for the future.”

What is the offside rule in this case?

A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched by a team-mate is only penalized on becoming involved in active play by:

  • interfering with play by playing or touching a ball passed or touched by a team-mate or
  • Interfering with an opponent by:
    • preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision or
    • challenging an opponent for the ball or
    • Attempting to play a ball that is close when this action impacts an opponent or
    • Making an obvious action that impacts the ability of an opponent to play the ball

Guardiola also addressed why City could not make full use of star striker Erling Haaland on Saturday lunchtime, with the Norwegian now on a mini-drought of two Premier League starts and one Carabao Cup substitute appearance without a goal.

Haaland played a more profound role than usual at Old Trafford to draw Raphael Varane and Luke Shaw out of United’s defensive block. But Guardiola praised how well City’s opponents defended on Saturday.

“Maybe we need to find him a little more in the final third,” said Guardiola of Haaland. “We tried to drop him, knowing Shaw and Varane would follow him, but it takes work to create chances.

“United, in the last games, only conceded one goal here in the Premier League. We had one or two others with the previous pass or final cross for a few moments. I gave credit to United for the quality they have.

“We behaved good, we behaved how we have been in the last six years, and the many times we came here together. Monopolize the ball, and they defend and wait for the right action.”

Source: Sky Sports

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