MIKE DEAN: Why Marcus Rashford’s goal against Liverpool was given away

MIKE DEAN: Marcus Rashford’s controversial goal against Liverpool was allowed because new VAR rules give the forward the advantage. The change benefits the Premier League as fans will see more goals

  • Marcus Rashford’s second goal against Liverpool for Man United was borderline
  • Two years ago this would have been denied, but VAR has since made changes
  • At Stockley Park the lines are drawn from striker to penultimate defender
  • If the lines overlap, the advantage goes to the attacker and the goal is awarded

Tight offsides before goals became the theme of the weekend. Some have gone against the striker, like Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus. Some went there, like Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford.

Two years ago, Rashford’s strike might have been disallowed – one of those offside ‘nails’ that was on full display when VAR first arrived in England.

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

Marcus Rashford’s goal against Liverpool was close but eventually awarded correctly thanks to new changes made for the sake of the game

This goal would have been disallowed two years ago, but the advantage now goes to the striker if the two lines overlap when checked by VAR

This goal would have been disallowed two years ago, but the advantage now goes to the striker if the two lines overlap when checked by VAR

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

First, the “kick point” – the moment a teammate plays the ball – is confirmed.

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

As VAR I make sure everything is correct and then I lock it down.

The VAR system is not subjective - it is factual, but offsides

The VAR system is not subjective – it is factual, but ‘toenail’ offsides will no longer be given

Once they are locked, the system will then flash green for inside or red for offside. It’s not subjective. It is factual.

But last summer changes were made so that if the lines overlap, it’s next.

It’s too close to call otherwise and so the advantage is given to the striker, as was the case with Rashford at Old Trafford on Monday night.

Jesus’ goal against Bournemouth was disallowed as there was no overlapping lines.

Premier League and PGMOL changes mean fans will see more goals

Premier League and PGMOL changes mean fans will see more goals

The same was true for Crystal Palace’s Odsonne Edouard before Jeffrey Schlupp put the ball in the net against Aston Villa and also for Brentford’s Ivan Toney against Fulham.

Overall, the Premier League has benefited from this approach as it means more goals in games.

I’ll be interested to see how semi-automated offsides are used in the Champions League group stages this season and at the World Cup.

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

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