Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Man Utd could have still scored Marcus Rashford goal as FA rule loophole emerge

Man Utd could have still scored Marcus Rashford goal as FA rule loophole emerge

Despite Manchester United’s 2-1 victory over Everton at Goodison Park, Marcus Rashford was left frustrated.

Former Arsenal striker Alex Iwobi gave the Toffees the lead early on with a great long-range strike before Antony and Cristiano Ronaldo scored to complete the turnaround for the Red Devils.

Rashford thought he had finished the scoring late on, skipping past both James Tarkowski and Jordan Pickford before slotting home. The strike, the United academy graduate’s sixth of the season, was, however, overturned by VAR.

The goal was disallowed due to an alleged handball in the build-up, with the ball striking Rashford’s arm as he hurdled Tarkowski’s challenge.

He was clearly dissatisfied with the decision, having lashed out at the technology in the aftermath of the game. Rashford took to Twitter and wrote:”+3 points on the road @ManUtd. VAR was questionable but thankfully it didn’t impact the result.”

According to the FA Laws of the Game, the decision was technically correct, but there is an intriguing loophole in the rules that would have allowed the goal to stand.

According to the official laws, it is an offence if a player “scores in the opponents goal directly from their arm or hand” or indeed “scores immediately after the ball has touched the hand/arm, even if accidental”.

The same rule does not apply to other players, so if Rashford had squared the ball to one of his teammates, with Bruno Fernandes in position to score a tap-in, VAR would not have been able to intervene and the goal would have stood.

Fortunately for  Manchester United, Rashford’s disallowed goal did not cost the team at Goodison Park, as they narrowly defeated Everton. 

United move up to fifth in the table with the win, ahead of a rematch with Omonia Nicosia in midweek and a Premier League clash with in-form Newcastle United next weekend.

Erik ten Hag, manager of the Red Devils, was pleased with how his team responded to their humbling in the Manchester derby last week.

Speaking to BBC Sport, he said: “I’m really happy. A long time since Man Utd came back from a setback with a goal to win the game. That’s good for belief in this team that they can do it.

“Twice In three days we have to stay composed and stick to the plan and see what can happen. An unlucky situation can change a game but it can’t change the plan. You still have to come back. That’s what happened today and on Thursday.”

Man Utd could have still scored Marcus Rashford goal as FA rule loophole emerge