Manchester City made a trip to the Hawthorns to clash with West Brom yesterday. It was Pep Guardiola’s team which scored five goals past West Brom’s goalkeeper to take the all-important three points.
With this win, Manchester City leapfrogged Manchester United to take the 1st spot on the league table. On the other hand, West Brom remained at the 19th spot with 6 points off the safety zone.
İlkay Gündoğan has been in impressive form lately for the Sky Blues. He found the back of the net after just five minutes to hand the lead to Man City. The whole first half saw City scoring four times, leaving no space for West Brom to come from behind.
Gündoğan bagged a brace whereas Mahrez, Sterling, and Cancelo scored a goal each. It was a thumping victory for the Cityzens but it involved a huge error from the referee. This gift to Man City came after another error from VAR when Rodri’s goal was allowed to stand even though he was miles offside.
In a recent meeting, Premier League accepted their mistake and stated: “If a similar situation to the one involving Rodri’s impact on Mings occurred in a future match, then the impact would be penalised for offside.”
Another controversial goal for Manchester City
In the 20th minute, Bernardo Silva received a scooped through ball as he found space between the defenders. He passed the ball to Joao Cancelo who was arriving at the edge of the box. But at that moment, assistant referee, Sian Massey-Ellis, raised her flag to signal that Silva was offside.
Few of the West Brom players saw that flag and stopped playing. But, Cancelo continued playing and found the top corner of the net. The referee initially ruled the goal offside but then VAR concluded that Silva was onside when he received the ball.
The goal was allowed to stand and this infuriated West Brom players. They put their case in front of the referee but all in vain. That second goal allowed Man City to dominate the ball. West Brom, who were two goals down after 20 minutes, knew that they have a tough evening to pass.
“Don’t talk to me rubbish” – Sam Allardyce
In the post-match conference, Sam Allardyce showed his anger towards to decision to allow the second goal. “After seeing the offside flag being raised, nobody who plays football would not stop or would continue to play thinking it’s not offside.”
Can you argue big Sam’s point? No. Whenever the flag goes up, every player knows that it is off-side. They don’t think what will happen if the referee is wrong. The new rule related to VAR and offside has been introduced this year.
According to this, assistant referees are told not to raise the flag immediately if there is any goal scoring opportunity for the team. They are guided to raise the flag only when that phase of the game ends.
In this case, the assistant referee raised the flag without waiting for that move to end. West Brom will be feeling that they are wrongly punished. But with the introduction of VAR, players need to keep playing till they hear the sound of the whistle.