Erik ten Hag achieved his greatest win as Manchester United’s manager at Old Trafford on Saturday, January 24, when his team defeated Manchester City following a valiant comeback, despite contentious circumstances, Newspremises understands.
With the victory, Manchester United entered the title race discussion, closing the gap to one point between them and league leaders Manchester City and six points between them and Arsenal.
Jack Grealish gave the reigning champions the lead before Bruno Fernandes tied the score for the home team, in the 75 minute of the Premier League encounter .
Marcus Rashford clearly was in an offside position as Casemiro put a ball through on goal, which Rashford challenged. The England international sent the ball to onside teammate Bruno Fernandes. The celebrations temporarily came to an end after Fernandes lifted the ball beyond Ederson.
The linesman immediately ruled the goal out for offside but, after a brief discussion with the referee Stuart Atwell, the goal was given.
Issues were raised by Manchester City players that the fact that Rashford decided to vie for the ball in an offside position, the goal should have been ruled out cause he was interfering with play.
United’s argument must have been that Rashford did not touched the ball or interfered with an opponent.
Another argument can be floated that Ederson stepped out because he believed Rashford was attempting to get the ball.
Atwell was not convinced that Rashford interfered with any player and thus the goal was allowed to stand.
The Video Assistant Referee was not called into action.
However, four minutes later, Rashford bagged the winner off an Alejandro Garnacho assist.
What fans thought
“Goal stands by the rules but if you can tell me with a straight face that Ederson takes up that position if Rashford isn’t interfering you are kidding yourself.”
“United fans should enjoy this decision that went in their favour. They’ll be on the other end next time. It always happens What goes around comes around.”
“If a player shields the ball, it is counted as him/her having possession…so yeah, offside for sure.”
“The only way that Rashford could not have affected play is A. He stops running to allow Bruno to play the ball. Or B he runs away from the ball. Running over the hall like that commits the goalie. Would the net have been empty for Bruno if Rashford hadn’t?”
The decision notwithstanding, the win was a testament of United’s improvement under ten Hag. Manchester City’s only shot on target was the goal by Grealish.