Tuesday , 31 January 2023

The Citi Sports VAR Corner: Gameweek 21

It has been another exciting weekend of Premier League football, Arsenal keep striding towards the title, Manchester City are not letting up the chase and Liverpool and Chelsea continue to struggle. This was a relatively less controversial weekend than last but there are still a few incidents worth looking at

The incident: Kai Havertz scores a rebound after a Thiago Silva shot but the goal is disallowed for offside

This will probably be the most confusing decision of the weekend for many fans. Havertz is behind his teammate, and they are both free of any defenders so how can he be adjudged offside?

Law 11 clearly states:

A player is in an offside position if:

any part of the head, body or feet is in the opponents’ half (excluding the halfway line) and any part of the head, body or feet is nearer to the opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent

More often than not we only consider the second-last opponent (the last man) but rarely do we consider the ball because more often than not the ball is played from deeper than both players. In this case, Havertz is slightly ahead of the ball so the decision is correct albeit it is one that many fans would not be aware of.

 

The incident: Jack Grealish is tripped by Nathan Collins in the box, and somehow a penalty is not given

This was a very strange incident because many watching thought the penalty was not given because of a foul in the build-up by a Manchester City player that the referees missed, but it was a completely different reason.

Per the guidelines given to Premier League referees, if the falling action by the players seems exaggerated given the contact, it is advised that the referee not give a penalty. This makes perfect sense for the league and will mean that players will be less likely to make meals of contact. However, it has strange consequences such as Sunday afternoon when Manchester City were denied a clear penalty.

The incident: Eddie Nketiah pokes home Martin Ødegaard’s deflected strike to beat Manchester United

This incident has two aspects: Oleksandr Zinchenko offside and Nketiah offside. The simple answer is no, but the confusion came as the offside check for Zinchenko was not televised. In both instances, the Arsenal players timed their runs to perfection and the goal was correctly allowed giving Arsenal a vital win.

 

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