Real Madrid had two shots on goal last night before the 89th minute, both of them ended up in the back of the net, one of them counted. That is because Karim Benzema’s first half effort was controversially ruled out for offside.
The French forward beat the offside trap initially and as he cut back in, the ensuing scramble resulting in a Benzema stroking it into the empty net. Fede Valverde’s effort deflected off the Liverpool defender into his path, but as only Andy Robertson was behind Benzema, it was deemed offside.
Karim Benzema’s opener is ruled out for offside! ❌
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 28, 2022
There had been some confusion over the rule. A law change last year means that if a defender intentionally plays the ball, then forwards can be onside.
Yet according to former Premier League referee Mark Halsey, French referee Clement Turpin got the decision right last night. The key issues was the intention of the defenders.
“The Real midfielder [Valverde] touched the ball forward and that is key because although Konate and Fabinho deflected the ball into Benzema’s path, their actions were deemed as not a deliberate play, the initial offside does not get reset,” he detailed for Caught Offside.
The kernel of the issue in this case – it would likely be much more of a debate if Real Madrid had lost – is that it’s incredibly difficult for a referee to interpret deliberate action. The new rule seems to create more issues than it solves and if there is anything that both fans and players want, it is clarity.