Manchester City were left fuming after Manchester United were awarded an extremely controversial goal in the Red Devils’ 2-1 win.
With United on the ball, a pass was played into the path of Marcus Rashford, The Sun reports.
But after Rashford failed to touch the ball on his run towards the goal, Bruno Fernandes ran onto it and found the back of the net.
Law 11, which details the offside law, states in section two: “Making an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball.”
City argued that goalkeeper Ederson had been pulled out from his goal line due to Rashford’s positioning.
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Speaking to the BBC, Manuel Akanji fumed: “To be honest the first goal is a joke, that is allowed like this.
“I saw Rashford, he was clearly offside, so I played him offside. He runs until the last second and he stops when the ball is in front of him and he’s right in front of (goalkeeper Ederson), ready to score the goal, because Bruno Fernandes is shouting (at) him.
“I understand he doesn’t touch the ball but he’s running for 30 metres and until the last second.
“For me it is clearly offside. The referee doesn’t even look at the situation. It got explained at the start of the year that this would be clearly offside.”
Pep Guardiola added: “Akanji stops the line (of running).
“If he knows that he is going to go with Rashford, he will go back with him and do the duel one versus one and he sees what happens. But he (Rashford) intervenes in the action.
“But the referee decided he did not intervene in this stadium. It’s ok, what are we going to do? Are we going to make a complaint? No. Congratulations for that. Sometimes it happens in our (favour). Sometimes (it’s like) that.
“The decision is they didn’t believe he (impacted the play). Rashford was intervening in this action when this happened. It’s Old Trafford. We have to play much better. Like it’s Anfield. We have to do better.
“The rule is the rule, the interpretation belongs to the referee. I say Rashford is offside, Bruno is not. The situation is for the referees.”
Rashford said: “I thought I went a bit early so I didn’t run.
“If I ran for the ball I would have just took it or shot or passed. I thought I was offside so I didn’t touch the ball.
“That’s all I can do in that situation and then it’s up to the referee and linesman. In my opinion I wasn’t involved in the play. I felt like it should have stood.”
Even Chelsea legend Petr Cech was left baffled by the decision.
He said: “The first United goal just proved the people who make the rules don’t understand the game.”
And fans were left fuming online.
Taking to Twitter, one fan wrote: “Rashford is clearly active in the attack and is offside so no idea how that’s a goal.”
A second fan said: “Understand he doesn’t touch the ball but he literally positions himself to take the ball into his stride then just leaves it. Mental VAR decision.”
A third slammed: “Whoever gave that should be sacked. 100% offside. Linesman always flag when an offside player then goes after the ball, even if a defender has it. Always. Shocking.”
A fourth added: “Baffling that’s not offside.”
A fifth user said: “If Rashford isn’t there, Akanji makes a challenge. Such a simple decision.”
Another added: “How can you take five steps with (the) ball at your feet and NOT be interfering with play?!”
Rashford was once again involved as he fired the Red Devils into the lead minutes later.
And Erik ten Hag’s side held on to claim a 2-1 victory from the jaws of defeat after City had bossed the second half and taken the lead through Jack Grealish.
– This article originally appeared in The Sun and was reproduced with permission.