It has been a very controversial weekend, with a lot to dissect but before we jump into this weekend’s action, we will take it back to the midweek
The incident: Aaron Ramsdale is unable to get to Douglas Luiz’s corner as Boubacar Kamara is blocking him.
I believe the goal should have been disallowed because Kamara was interfering with Ramsdale’s ability to play the ball but the logic given was that because Kamara is not actively moving he is allowed to stand there and Ramsdale’s inability to move past him is not illegal.
I disagree with this reading of the rules because by convention goalkeepers are afforded certain privileges and their inability to play is considered more serious than other players. So a keeper unable to exercise a full range of movement should be considered enough to disallow a goal especially if that was the player’s only aim rather than a genuine attempt to play the ball.
The incident: Alexander Isak breaks the Liverpool offside and scores a wonderful goal which is ruled offside.
This decision was a very simple one. Isak almost timed his run right but once the lines do not touch a clear offside can be decided if the lines had touched the striker would have been given the benefit of the doubt and the goal would have stood. It was a close decision but as the VAR sets the lines based on the hawkeye system the likelihood of wrong lines is minuscule
The incident: Virgil Van Dijk catches Andre Onana and is given a yellow card
Virgil Van Dijk was lucky here. This is one of those challenges that either card would have stood in my opinion. Van Dijk clearly misses the ball. He tries to stop the ball but misses it and steps on Onana’s ankle. The Liverpool defender’s challenge was not deemed violent conduct and did not meet the threshold for excessive force or endangering his opponent. Regardless it was at least deemed to be reckless but was not an obvious red card. It was a bad foul for sure but not a clear red
The incident: Phillipe Coutinho has a wonderful goal disallowed against Manchester City.
This was the most straightforward decision of the weekend. Coutinho was not offside when the ball was played but because the momentum of the attack seemed to have died the assistant referee raised his flag and the referee blew the whistle before Coutinho struck the ball, therefore play was dead and the goal was rightfully disallowed. The linesman waited an appropriate time before raising the flag, but ultimately, he was wrong in his reading of the situation. There was nothing for VAR to check because the play was dead before the goal was scored
The incident: Jarrod Bowen is beaten to the ball by Edouard Mendy, and Max Cornet scores from the resulting loose ball
This was an absolute howler in my opinion. Mendy conned the referee perfectly in this situation. The contact was there but not enough to be considered a foul. Mendy’s inability to get up after the clash meant the goal was unguarded when Cornet got the ball.
The referee was asked to go to the screen and changed his mind. It is important to note there is no guarantee the referee will change his mind when he views the screen but is very likely to because he is seeing something he has previously missed meaning he will likely judge the situation differently. I disagree with the decision because the trailing leg is not enough to be considered a foul and the referee should have stuck with his original decision