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Explanation For Why Bruno Fernandes Goal Stood Will Baffle Many

Explanation For Why Bruno Fernandes Goal Stood Will Baffle Many
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington
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Manchester United took a huge win in the derby against Manchester City on Saturday, but the game was not without controversy. Bruno Fernandes' late equaliser would cause huge debate about the spirit of the laws, and an explanation from BBC Radio 5 Live on why the goal stood will baffle many fans.

United looked lifeless for large spells of the second half, and fell behind to a Jack Grealish header on the hour mark.

They would equalise with little over ten minutes to go, but the goal from Bruno Fernandes had City fuming, after a controversial decision to allow the goal to stand despite Marcus Rashford being in an offside position.

Bruno Fernandes scores contentious equaliser in derby win

Manchester United struggled to make an impression in the second half against Manchester City, until Bruno Fernandes' neat finish ignited Old Trafford.

It initially appeared as though the goal would be ruled out. A through ball from Casemiro was aimed for Marcus Rashford, but the in-form forward was clearly offside. Rashford appeared to think about hitting the ball, before Fernandes stormed in and finished to get United back on level terms.

Fernandes was furious when the linesman's flag went up, before a VAR review judged that Rashford had not interfered with play, and the goal could stand.

City were furious, with Nathan Aké leading the protests against referee Stuart Attwell. City's defenders appeared to swarm towards Rashford, leaving Fernandes free to score, drawing into question how the offside decision had not been upheld.


The laws state that offside offences come when a player plays or touches the ball from an offside position, or if they prevent an opposition player from playing or challenging for the ball. The rationale for allowing the goal to stand was presumably that Rashford did not attempt to play the ball, or obstruct the City defenders as Fernandes rushed in.

Mark Chapman on BBC Radio Five Live explained how the officials came to the decision to allow the goal to stand. After discussion, the officials on the pitch made the call that Rashford had not touched the ball and the goal should stand, and VAR could find no clear and obvious error with the on-field decision.

By the letter of the law, the decision was fair, but the spirit of the game would draw into question whether Rashford's presence had impacted on City's defence of the attack.


Manchester United would take the lead just minutes later, through a goal from Rashford, and would hold on for a crucial victory that puts them just one point behind City in the table.

City fans were not happy, however, with United's opener, and Didi Hamann and Petr Cech were among those who took issue with Fernandes' equaliser.

No doubt the controversy around Bruno Fernandes' goal will rage on in the weeks to come, and it has a huge impact on the title race.

Arsenal now have a chance to go eight points clear of Manchester City in second, while United sit just one point behind their Manchester rivals in third place.

Erik Ten Hag's United face Arsenal next weekend, in a game that now feels even bigger in the context of this Premier League season.

SEE ALSO: Ranking The Old Manchester United Striker Signings Of The 21st Century

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