Man United get a VAR helping hand for Bruno Fernandes' equaliser

How WAS this allowed?! Man United get a huge VAR helping hand as clearly-offside Marcus Rashford is deemed NOT to be interfering with play for the goal that turned the Manchester derby against City

  • Relive all the action as Man United beat Man City 2-1 in the Manchester derby 
  • Bruno Fernandes equalised for the Red Devils in controversial circumstances
  • Marcus Rashford was offside in the build up but ruled to have had no impact
  • Erling Haaland was criticised after putting in an abnormally quiet performance 

Bruno Fernandes drew Manchester United level with Manchester City in the 78th minute, with VAR required to award the goal after a possible offside in the build-up. 

The Portuguese star fired home but it was Marcus Rashford who appeared offside in the build-up, however the referees ruled that he had no part in the goal given that he failed to touch the ball. 

Rashford then scored a quick-fire second off of an Alejandro Garnacho cross, as the Red Devils quickly flipped the tie on it’s head from 2-1 down to take the lead, with City’s star striker Erling Haaland having an anonymous game. 

Bruno Fernandes fired Manchester United level under hugely controversial circumstances

The ball was played in behind by Casemiro with Marcus Rashford (circled) clearly offside

With the England star not touching the ball Fernandes latched onto the pass to score

A ball was played in behind the City defence by United’s Casemiro from the right-hand side which sent several of the home side’s attackers to chase it, with Rashford clearly offside in his chase. 

The forward appeared about to latch on to the pass, but instead kept alongside the ball, cleverly ensuring that he did not get a touch on it in order to keep play alive. 

As a result of his intervention, both Manuel Akanji and Kyle Walker were drawn to the on-rushing England forward, leaving Bruno Fernandes able to steal a march and get on the end of the pass instead. 

Manchester City players were incensed at the decision and quickly surrounded the referee

Rashford left the ball for his team-mate, and Fernandes obliged by converting emphatically beyond Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson who was racing off his line to close down the 25-year-old. 

Having played a hugely influential role in the build-up to the first, Rashford then scored the second himself to mark nine consecutive games at Old Trafford with a goal. 

He showed great composure to convert inside the six-yard box from a cross across the penalty area from Garnacho to make it 2-1, with United seeing out a memorable derby win from a losing position. 

United have moved up to within a point of City and only six behind league leaders Arsenal

As a result, United move within a point of City, and only six points behind leaders Arsenal who have a game in hand on both Manchester sides. 

Following the game, Pep Guardiola insisted that Rashford’s role impacted his defence, saying: ‘Marcus Rashford is offside, Bruno Fernandes is not. Rashford distracted our keeper and centre defenders. It is what it is. We know where we play. It is difficult for the referees in these stadiums.’

And United boss Erik ten Hag admitted that the rule made it easy to see his opponent’s point of view on the issue. 

Pep Guardiola insisted that Rashford’s presence impacted his defenders

He added: ‘I can see it from the other side as well. The rules, it’s a confusing moment for the back line of the opponent. The rules say Marcus didn’t touch the ball and he wasn’t interfering. Bruno came from the back – but I can see it from the other side.’

And fans and pundits were quick to make their feelings known on the goal, with the vast majority of viewers rushing to point out that the wrong decision was ultimately made.

Chris Perry claimed: ‘That goal has to be offside, if Rashford isn’t there then Kyle Walker makes a challenge on Fernandes. Rashford looks like he’s about to shoot so Walker goes back towards goal.’

Chris Sutton was in agreement, adding: ‘Manchester United brilliant result but they get away with that as they have done over the years with decisions going for them at Old Trafford. 

‘Rashford has to be interfering with play. Any defender in the world would expect Rashford to be called offside in that moment…’

And Richard Keys echoed the sentiment, writing: ‘I hope in this new era of transparency PGMOL admit they’ve got that wrong. Rashford impacts play by being where he is. 

Erik ten Hag admitted that he could understand his opponent’s point of view on the matter

‘Akanji stops. Rashford protects the ball. It’s off-side. It’s nonsense to say he didn’t touch the ball. City should be rightly furious.’

Another viewer was clearly incensed by the decision, writing: ‘Walker and Akanji slow down because of Rashford being in the way. Rashford is off side. SHOCKING decision.’

Whereas another chose to see the funny side of things, adding: ‘That’s a offside, lol, but I’m not complaining. Rashford was definitely offside and he definitely influenced the run of play.’

A third claimed: ‘We can banter tho but Rashford was OFFSIDE. Man Utd got LUCKY. The goal changed the mood of the game.’

A fourth Twitter account pointed out that by the laws of the game the goal should not have counted, saying: ‘Yes, Rashford was shielding the ball after coming from an offside position. The laws clearly state that the goal should not have stood.’

And a fifth pointed to the fact that the intent of the pass was to find the clearly-offside Rashford, which should have ruled out the goal, claiming: ‘The intent was a pass to Rashford who was clearly offside, Rashford clearly interfered with the play, unbelievable,’ followed by a laughing emoji. 

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