Manchester United’s opening goal against Aston Villa has been the subject of controversy, with fans in disagreement over whether it should have been allowed.
Rasmus Hojlund opened the scoring for Erik ten Hag‘s side early in the first half, firing home from close range following Harry Maguire’s header.
Scott McTominay then scored late on to seal the victory for United after Douglas Luiz had levelled things up for the hosts at Villa Park.
But there was an element of controversy surrounding United’s first goal.
From the free kick that preceded the corner, Casemiro was in an offside position when the ball was played in.
The ball subsequently went over the head of the Brazilian midfielder before it was won by Raphael Varane, whose header deflected off Villa defender Clement Lenglet before it went out for a corner – which United scored from.
Casemiro was not given offside on the field, and VAR could not intervene as the corner is considered a different phase of play – and United didn’t score from the free kick anyway.
Villa fans’ frustrations revolved around the assistant referee’s decision not to flag Casemiro offside, which would have given the hosts a free kick and prevented the goalscoring corner from being taken.
The Ifab laws of the game state that a player is offside when they are ‘clearly attempting to play a ball which is close when this action impacts on an opponent’, or ‘making an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball’.
The argument from United fans is that the ball was not close enough to Casemiro’s head in order to deem that he had clearly attempted to play the ball.
Villa fans believe, meanwhile, that Casemiro’s jump meant he affected the line of vision of both Lenglet and Diego Carlos, who were also challenging for the ball.
But both views are subjective, which the camera angle not definitively proving whether either player was impacted by the Brazilian midfielder’s movements back towards play.
Should Casemiro have been ruled offside, or was the on-field decision correct? Let us know in the comments.