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Was Rashford offside? South African fans CANNOT agree

18:09 GMT+3 14/01/2023
Marcus Rashford & Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United
South Africa-based Premier League fans cannot agree on whether Manchester United’s derby equaliser was legitimate

Manchester United dispatched ManchesterCity 2-1 in Saturday’s Manchester Derby in the biggest victory of the Erik ten Hag era so far.

However, it was not without controversy, as the Red Devils’ equaliser—sweetly struck by Bruno Fernandes—was initially deemed offside due to Marcus Rashford’s positioning in the build-up.

  • Controversial...

    However, Rashford was adjudged not to have attempted to have played the ball by the match officials, opening the door for Fernandes’ strike to stand.

    Rashford then went on to net the winner for the hosts, although some South African supporters were still grumping about the referee’s decision to allow his 78th-minute equaliser.

  • ‘Pathetic’

    Skepe Matsebane, Radio DJ with Power FM 987, was particularly vocal in his displeasure with the refereeing.

    “This offside rule is becoming more pathetic by the day,” he wrote on his @SkepeMatsebane handle. “Some calls in the World Cup, you now see them being called different.

    “It doesn’t make sense and it’s not consistent,” he added. “Rashford was clearly running towards the ball and in front of it. He could have impeded a City player.”

  • The curving run

    Matsebane went on to explain exactly what made Rashford’s decisive run offside, and why City can feel massively hard done by.

    “Rashford was running TOWARDS the ball. He’s interfering,” he continued. “The ball was curving, and Rashford bent his run with it.

    “Rashford is running right INFRONT of [Manuel] Akanji. He stopped Akanji from getting to the ball. He’s offside. That should have not been a goal.”

    There were no shortage of users agreeing with the radio host.

  • Rashford Manchester United

    ‘Actively involved’

    Twitter user @Mingus1605 may identify himself as a Liverpool fan, but we’ll assume that wasn’t influencing his certainty that the goal ought not have been allowed.

    “Rashford may not have touched the ball, but he shielded it to ensure the City defender doesn't get to it,” he wrote. “To me, that's being actively involved in that phase of play!”

  • ‘Is that not interfering?’

    Msibi, writing on the @SakhileMaibi08 handle, also made an argument as to why Rashford was clearly involved in the goal and why City were treated very harshly by the officials.

    “If you remove him from the equation it's a big IF [Fernandes] even gets a shot at goal,” Msibi began. “All three City players made movements that Rashford was in on goal even the keeper then Bruno hits it.

    “Is that not interfering?”

  • ‘Beat them fair and square’

    Supporters weren’t unanimously in agreement, however, with some insisting that Fernandes’ goal was legitimate and that the ref made the correct call.

    “Rashford didn't touch the ball,” wrote @Brian_john29. “He was in an offside position and didn't interfere with the ManCity defender, is a goal.”

    Does the user have a point?

  • City’s fault

    User Jared van der Merwe had no sympathy for Manchester City, and instead insisted that the Sky Blues’ own defenders had themselves to blame for allowing United back into the game.

    “All the City defenders had to do was go and tackle Rashford and the goal wouldn't have stood,” he wrote on his @jayjay_vdm handle. “They didn't, so the goal rightfully stands, simple as that.”

  • ‘A man of honour’

    We have to give credit to one of ZA’s Man United fans—Andile Mlondo—who was magnanimous enough to hold his hands up and admit that his side were lucky that the goal stood on this occasion.

    “I'm a man of honour,” he wrote on his @AndileMlondo handle. “Rashford interfered with play there.

    “Without him, either of the defenders or keeper ensure Bruno doesn't score…”