Was Man City’s Goal Correctly Disallowed For Offside?

Manchester City thought it had scored a second goal late in the first half against Liverpool, a goal that would have put the Citizens up 2-0 and two thirds of the way to erasing the 3-0 defeat from the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal. But the referees thought otherwise and the disallowed Manchester City goal was a defining moment of the first half.

City, playing at home, did exactly what it needed to do with an early goal from Gabriel Jesus. Still needing two more goals, Pep Guardiola’s side plowed forward, aided by a lineup with just two real defenders. 

In the final minutes of the half, Leroy Sané knocked a loose ball into the back of an empty net for what appeared to be a second Manchester City goal. But the referees quickly called offside and disallowed the goal.

The play presents a difficult decision for the three referees in the area. Sané is onside when Kevin de Bruyne first plays the ball into the box. Loris Karius then comes out to punch the ball away. The ball bounces off James Milner toward Sané, who pokes the ball into the net.

By this account with these replays, Sané is clearly onside and the goal should have stood. However, it’s easy to see where the referees were mistaken. While Milner is the one who hits the ball back into the goal area, at first glance it appears Raheem Sterling was the man who touched it after Karius. Had this been the case, Sané would have been offside because only one man was between him and the goal. 

Guardiola was incredulous the goal was taken away and was sent to the stands at halftime.

If only there was some sort of review system in place to analyze these close calls, perhaps an assistant referee who could look at video reviews. We could call it the VAR or something. I dunno, just spitballing here.

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