Wolverhampton Wanderers boss Julen Lopetegui has said it is ‘impossible’ for his side to have canceled out a winning goal in their FA Cup third round draw with Liverpool at Anfield.
Centre-back Toti came home, but the assistant referee had his flag raised for offside against Matheus Nunes, who had taken the original corner and recovered the ball on the left after Hwang Hee-chan l sent back to the wing.
The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) had no camera angles available to provide evidence to overturn the decision, which means Wolves had to settle for a 2-2 draw.
Lopetegui, who walked into referee Andrew Madley’s room with captain Ruben Neves after the game, said offside ‘does not exist’ and it was ‘a pity’ because his players ‘deserved to move on to the next round”.
He was also angry that Mohamed Salah’s goal, which put Liverpool ahead 2-1, was allowed to stay, although the Egyptian striker appeared to be in an offside position when the ball was handed to him. played during preparation.
What really happened?
Starting with Wolves’ disallowed goal, Nunes took a corner kick headed by Nathan Collins and then returned by Hwang to Nunes on the left wing.
He dribbled to the touchline and his cross was deflected towards Hwang, whose shot was returned by Toti to put Wolves, who had led 1-0 before being pushed back, 3-2.
The Wolves players celebrated wildly, Toti taking off his shirt, but the assistant had his flag raised.
VAR then looked into the incident, but had no clear camera angle to overturn the decision.
Speaking to ITV, Lopetegui said: “We’ve seen it, offside doesn’t exist, I’m sorry. It’s impossible.
“Someone told him it was offside, but we saw the footage, it doesn’t exist.
“The decision is bad. I make mistakes every day, and sometimes too. Today we have VAR help, and that’s a shame, because I’m sorry, it’s not offside. “
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said: “I’m not sure about their third goal. We have a picture where it might look offside, but I can understand why they’re angry about it. We don’t want not that VAR only has one angle.”
In the Premier League, an explanation such as ‘Nunes offside’ would be displayed on the screen on the ground, but the Football Association, which administers the FA Cup, follows UEFA and Fifa guidelines and does not. , which caused confusion in the crowd and among the experts.
“We sat in the studio trying to figure it out, as did the crowd and the bench,” former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey told ITV.
Former England striker Eni Aluko added: “State-of-the-art stadiums – just put them on the screen. The clarity has to be there.
“It’s offside, Nunes was in an offside position, but it wasn’t clear at the start. Now we have the decision, but it needs to be clearer.”
Wolves and Lopetegui were already annoyed that Salah’s goal was allowed.
The winger was in an offside position as Cody Gapko tried to get over the Wolves defense but Toti headed the ball in an attempt to stop the attack.
It meant Salah was on board, and he controlled the ball and headed home to give Liverpool the lead.
Lopetegui said: “It’s the same in all leagues. My opinion is that we need to talk a lot with the referees about this kind of situation.
“A player took advantage of his position, Salah was offside before Toti touched the ball, so he had an advantage. Toti, of course, only goes there because of the offside player.”
Former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock told BBC Match of the Day: “It’s very frustrating. The laws of the game say the goal must stand, but football fans know it mustn’t. Toti has to deal with it because he has to believe Salah is offside. The law is wrong in our view.
Asked by BBC Match of the Day whether Salah’s goal should have been disallowed and Toti’s allowed, he replied: “In my opinion, yes. That’s my clear opinion now.”
Lopetegui added that referee Madley “heard us”, explaining: “It’s a good thing for me, it’s not usual in Spain. I love to talk, only to show him that the offside n doesn’t exist. It’s very clear.”
What do the rules say?
Both incidents focus on the start of a new phase of play and what deliberate action is.
According to Law 11 of the FA rules: “A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent who deliberately plays the ball, including by deliberate handball, is not considered to have gained an advantage, unless it is a deliberate stoppage by any opponent.
“A ‘stop’ is when a player stops or attempts to stop a ball which enters the goal or very close to the goal with any part of the body except the hands/arms (unless the goalkeeper is in the penalty area).”
The assistant referee ruled that Nunes was offside when Hwang headed the ball – which started a new phase of play – and VAR had no clear evidence to overturn that decision.
Salah’s goal was not ruled out thanks to Toti’s header, which started a new phase of play.
Why was there VAR?
Fans and spectators will wonder why there was VAR at this game, but not in the previous match between Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United, where there was a dispute over two of the goals and other games this weekend.
VAR is only operational on Premier League grounds, meaning it was at Anfield, but not at Hillsborough.
“Rule must be removed” – views from #bbcfootball
Dan: Not only do we have to put up with VAR ruining the goal celebration, he doesn’t even get the calls right when he reviews them? I would prefer the strange human error to this farce.
New era: Salah was offside and Toti’s goal was not. What is the essence of VAR if after looking at the screen it is still wrong?
Martin-Philippe Odoni: I have to admit that if Salah’s goal wasn’t offside and Totti’s was, I just don’t understand the law of offside at all. And I’m a Liverpool fan.
Richard: If it’s offside and Salah isn’t, honestly, I don’t understand football anymore. Both were ahead of the game but did not touch the ball. Both scored in the second phase. One is given. One is denied.
Jon Evans: Two outrageous things about the game. 1) I’ve said this before but the offside rule that allowed Salah’s goal is horrible and should be scrapped, I don’t know why it was introduced. 2) How can there not be a Wolves offside camera? Something is wrong there.