Real Madrid ace Karim Benzema thought he had scored the opening goal of the 2022 UEFA Champions League final when a mad scramble in Liverpool’s box ended up with the Frenchman slotting the ball into the net. A lengthy VAR ultimately decided that Benzema was offside.
This call was controversial to say the least.
Benzema Offside Call vs. Liverpool
BENZEMA WITH THE BALL IN THE NET. ...But he's ruled offside. pic.twitter.com/obMLUwCQBF— Champions League final on CBS & Paramount+ (@CBSSportsGolazo) May 28, 2022
There are a couple things to break down. For those wondering why Robertson standing near the goal line didn’t play Benzema onside we have to explain a weird part of the offside rule that doesn’t come up often.
To be onside a player can’t be behind the last TWO players on the opposite team. These two are almost always the last defender and goalkeeper. Very rarely there are instances where an attacker finds themselves behind the goalkeeper but not behind the last defender. This is still offside like we saw with Benzema, Robertson and Alisson.
Now we get to the next sticky part people are arguing about. An attacker in an offside position won’t be called offside if a player on the opposite team DELIBERATELY plays the ball backwards and the attacker intercepts.
Was Fabinho’s slide tackle deliberate is the question.
This writer thinks that the goal should have stood. Is a slide tackle not a deliberate action? Was Fabinho not deliberately making a play on the ball to get it away from Frederico Valverde? I believe that Fabinho’s tackle should be justified as a deliberate action to play the ball away, it wasn’t a deflection.
This is how the internet reacted.
How can you call that offside? Ridiculous— Mark Goldbridge (@markgoldbridge) May 28, 2022
I wasn’t sure after all those replays, but now I’ve heard Peter Walton say it was offside, I’ve never been more convinced it was onside.— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) May 28, 2022
That’s a disgrace that is. Benzema’s offside, fair enough, but the last touch game from Fabinho’s knee therefore it should’ve stood. LiVARpool for a reason, lads, LiVARpool for a reason.— Ryan. (@UtdRyan_) May 28, 2022
"The ball comes off a Liverpool player and it's deemed offside?""If I'm a Real Madrid player, I'm going bananas in that changing room!"@rioferdy5 isn't convinced by the explanation as to why Karim Benzema's goal was ruled out ♂️#UCLfinal pic.twitter.com/S8GnqoUk2f
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 28, 2022
The ol deliberate touch debate. Wow— Stu Holden (@stuholden) May 28, 2022
This story was written at halftime with the score still tied 0-0.