Bruno Fernandes scored the equaliser for Manchester United against Manchester City, but only after a VAR check investigated whether Marcus Rashford interfered with play….
Manchester United equalised against Manchester City in controversial fashion before completing an astonishing turnaround to claim derby delight at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.
Fans who tuned into the game up and down the country were left bemused as to why Bruno Fernandes’ calm finish beyond Ederson stood despite Marcus Rashford clearly being offside in the build-up. The England forward was beyond the last City defender as Casemiro played a scything forward pass.
Crucially, however, Rashford did not get a touch on the ball, allowing Fernandes to run onto it and lash first-time past Ederson and haul United level, following substitute Jack Grealish’s second-half opener. Although the linesman’s flag initially went up, a VAR check confirmed the goal would stand.
This is because Rashford was deemed not to have interfered with play before Fernandes struck, meaning the fact he was in an offside position at the time of Casemiro’s pass was irrelevant. Former Premier League referee Peter Walton explained this while speaking on BT Sport.
“The law was amended to actually counter that argument of whether he touches the ball or does he interfere with an opponent playing the ball,” Walton said. “He (Rashford) does neither, so as the law stands, he hasn’t done anything wrong. It’s actually very good play from Rashford himself.”
Speaking before VAR awarded the goal, Walton stated that he thought the original decision would be overturned. He said: ” Well, let’s just say I think this is a goal. You’re quite right in saying that Rashford has moved for the ball, hasn’t interfered with the ball, hasn’t played the ball himself. The flag goes up because of the offside position but when VAR look at this and when the assistant discusses this with Stuart Atwell, I think this is a goal.”
Co-commentator Jermaine Jenas hailed the United No.10 for his shrewd play to avoid touching the ball, adding: ” It’s really, really smart from Marcus Rashford and the City players are not happy. I think it is the right decision. They’re still arguing with the referee, but he’s not going to change his mind now.
Rashford is in a clear offside position, there is no doubt about that, and he probably knows it. Bruno’s shouting at him now to leave it and the reality is he doesn’t touch the ball – he doesn’t seem to anyway. It’s a brilliant finish from onside. Old Trafford has come to life, and it’s come out of nowhere – City had full control of this game.”
After his clever play in the build-up to the equaliser, Rashford struck what proved to be the winning goal and sealed all three points for United. The boyhood Red Devil poked home from close range after superb work from Alejandro Garnacho to find him in the box…