Sterling offside goal v. Watford

The assistant referee raised his flag for offside, but Paul Tierney inexplicably overruled him, presumably because Daryl Janmaat first kicked the ball onto Raheem Sterling.

Update: The Sun reports that Paul Tierney admitted that he made a mistake. (I’m reluctantly using The Sun.)

Firmino goal vs. Manchester City (2015)

This was Liverpool’s brilliant goal against Manchester City in November 2015:

At the time, people were quite confused about why this was not offside when Coutinho poked the ball to Firmino.

Many people thought Firmino was offside because he was “behind the defenders” with only the goalkeeper to beat and he received a “forward pass.”

The direction of the pass is actually irrelevant, contrary to popular opinion.

FIFA Law 11 – “A player is in an offside position if:

• he is nearer to his opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent”*

Applying the letter of the Law, when the ball leaves Coutinho’s boot, Firmino is closer to the goal line than the second-last opponent, but he is not closer to the goal line than the ball. He is not in an offside position.

*The updated language now reads:

• any part of the head, body or feet is nearer to the opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent

Tottenham v. Arsenal offside confusion

Was Harry Kane offside when Shkodran Mustafi pushed him?

IFAB doesn’t seem to help matters. “Playing the ball” appears to mean to IFAB “touching the ball,” so that means Kane was certainly pushed before he played the ball. However, weren’t Kane and Mustafi “challenging” each other for the ball as soon as the ball left the grass, and hence Kane is offside?

I suppose the answer depends on when EXACTLY – down to the millisecond – Kane was first considered to be attempting to play the ball.

If Kane was attempting to head the ball or challenging Mustafi before Mustafi pushes him, then it’s offside. If Kane was attempting to head the ball or challenging Mustafi after Mustafi pushes him, then it’s a penalty. So, I wonder why Kane was making a run then in the general direction of the ball. Clear as mud.

A similar thing happened during Schalke v. Manchester City.

If Fernandinho brought down Salif Sané after Sané attempted to play the ball, then it’s offside. If Fernandinho brought down Sané before Sané attempted to play the ball, then it’s a penalty.

Glad we cleared that up.

Ajax’s disallowed goal v. Real Madrid

Tadić has committed an offside offence because he is in an offside position – closer to the opponent’s goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent – when the ball is headed by Tagliafico, and he is interfering with the goalkeeper Courtois, preventing him from playing the ball.

The bigger question to me is – how are any of the referees expected to see that without VAR?

Locadia offside?

Quite an interesting and unusual offside situation.

Brighton takes a corner. The ball evades everyone. Until it hits Everton’s Andre Gomes, who totally didn’t expect it, and bounces to Jurgen Locadia, who is in an offside position and scores.

But he has not committed an offside offence. That’s the difference.