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Mbappé’s goal should have been refused, here is the proof


An action similar to Kylian Mbappé’s goal occurred earlier this year during a match between Manchester City and Aston Villa. The goal had been awarded, but the Premier League had deemed it a mistake.

Offside or not offside on Kylian Mbappé ? Depending on which side of the Pyrenees you are on, there is debate or not. Seen from Spain, it’s a scandal, and the winning goal of the Blues in the final of the League of Nations should have been refused. Seen from France, we ask ourselves the question, especially since the action in question deserves some clarification.

First, why did the goal concede? On the main angle, Mbappé seems clearly offside. On another view, there is a small amount of doubt. Is it this part of doubt that led the referee in charge of the VAR not to intervene? A priori no. According to Sergio Busquets, the main referee, Anthony Taylor, told him that the goal was valid because Eric Garcia, by touching the ball deliberately, had put Mbappé on the line.

This is where it gets harder. The regulations say in fact that an attacker is no longer offside if he is served by a ball deliberately touched by a defender (if it is not an involuntary deflection, therefore). Unless, and this is where the nuance is important, if the defender performs a “rescue” by wanting to touch a ball that flies towards the goal. This is clearly the case with the gesture of Eric Garcia.

A similar action took place earlier this year in England (see tweet above). In a game between Manchester City and Aston Villa, Rodri, then clearly in an offside position, had recovered the ball in the feet of Tyrone Mings just after checking the defender’s chest. In the process, Bernardo Silva opened the scoring.

Mings had cried foul, admitting his misunderstanding of the rules, and UK press consultants, like former referee Dermot Gallagher, were unanimous. Mings, voluntarily controlling the ball, put Rodri onside. The goal was therefore valid from a regulatory point of view. In the spirit, however, there was much to complain about.

Like Eric Garcia on Sunday, the defender should have let the ball slip away, which just seems impossible in the heat of the moment. The Barcelonan should have let Mbappé go alone to challenge his goalkeeper, hoping that the flag is raised. All observers, last January, created the cynicism of this law of the game, pointing to a flaw in the regulations. But the case did not end there …

A few days later, the Premier League has indeed delivered its opinion on the subject. According to her, Manchester City’s goal should have been disallowed, as Rodri clearly took advantage of his illegal position, and Mings played the ball because he believed the Mancunian would be flagged offside. By following this line, there is no reason to grant Mbappé’s goal on Sunday night.

Are the regulations for the Premier League different from those for UEFA competitions? Nothing indicates it, and it should be remembered that the referees of the match were English, Anthony Taylor on the field, and Stuart Atwell at the VAR, the latter having made the decision not to cancel Mbappé’s goal if one understood. In any event, it would be fashionable for UEFA to communicate on the subject and take a stand, if only for clarification, and for everyone’s understanding. This would make it possible to better manage future situations. But that will not change the score of this France-Spain (2-1) …

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