Mike Dean explains why Man Utd star’s goal v Liverpool was given


Mike Dean, the former Premier League referee-turned-VAR, has explained why Marcus Rashford’s goal during Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Liverpool was allowed to stand.

Rashford put United 2-0 up at Old Trafford in the 53rd minute with an unerring finish past Alisson.

However, many expected the goal would be disallowed following a VAR review because Rashford appeared to be marginally offside.

Despite the fact Rashford’s right foot appeared to be in front of Liverpool’s last defender, Joe Gomez, the goal was given.

VAR’s decision was that Rashford was *not* offside in this situation.

Considering many of the dubious offside calls we’ve seen in the Premier League over the past few years, this came as a shock to many football fans.

Marcus Rashford's borderine offside vs Liverpool

Why was Marcus Rashford’s goal vs Liverpool allowed to stand?

But in his latest column for the Daily Mail, Dean has explained that borderline ‘offsides’ like Rashford’s will sometimes be given due to VAR changes.

“Two years ago, Rashford’s strike might have been disallowed – one of those ‘toenail’ offsides that was highlighted when VAR first arrived in England,” the 54-year-old, who became a deviated video assistant referee this season following his retirement from refereeing, said.

“But the Premier League and PGMOL made changes for the good of the game – in agreement with the clubs – and I want to talk you through that and the process we now go through.

“While most of Old Trafford was celebrating United taking a 2-0 lead, VAR Darren England and his team at Stockley Park were taking a closer look at the moment Rashford broke behind Liverpool’s back line.

“First the ‘kick point’ – the moment a team-mate plays the ball – is confirmed.

Anthony Martial's assist to Marcus Rashford vs Liverpool

“Then the lines are laid. First a one-pixel line to the second last defender, then another one-pixel line to the attacker, at the point closest to goal with which he can score.

“As VAR, I make sure it’s all accurate, then lock it in.

“Once they are locked in, the system will then flash up green for onside or red for offside. It’s not subjective. It’s factual.

“But last summer, changes were made so that if the lines are overlapping, it’s onside.

“It’s too close to call otherwise and so the advantage is given to the attacker, as it was with Rashford at Old Trafford on Monday evening.”

Marcus Rashford celebrates goal vs Liverpool
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 22: Marcus Rashford of Manchester United celebrates scoring a goal to make it 2-0 during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford on August 22, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Why was Gabriel Jesus’s goal vs Bournemouth disallowed?

If this is the case then why wasn’t Gabriel Jesus’s goal for Arsenal against Bournemouth allowed to stand?

“Jesus’s goal against Bournemouth was disallowed because there was no overlap of the lines,” Dean clarified.

Gabriel Jesus offside v Bournemouth

The retired ref added: “Overall, the Premier League has benefitted from this approach as it means there are more goals in games.

“I will be interested in seeing how semi-automated offsides are used in this season’s Champions League group stages and at the World Cup.

“That system – powered by artificial intelligence – will provide officials with a 3D image, calculating the players’ exact positions on the pitch and telling us if an attacker is onside or offside.”

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