Fans fume over Bukayo Saka being flagged offside despite not interfering after Marcus Rashford controversy
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Fans were left seething after Bukayo Saka was flagged offside against Manchester City despite not interfering with play.
Saka started for the Gunners in the FA Cup fourth round defeat to City at the Etihad Stadium, where Nathan Ake popped up with the winner in the second half.
The England international struggled to replicate his recent form and was largely anonymous in the game, with Ake keeping him very quiet.
But both Saka and Arsenal supporters were not happy in the first half when the linesman raised his flag during a Gunners attack.
Saka had indeed strayed beyond City's last defender John Stones, who had stepped up to play him offside when Fabio Vieira helped the ball on.
Ake intercepted the pass but the ball was back with Granit Xhaka in the middle of the park. However, the linesman had his flag up to signal offside from Saka.
This was despite the winger putting his hands in the air and making absolutely no attempt to chase the ball as it looked set to end up with Eddie Nketiah.
#Saka flagged offside by #Rashford wasn’t in the Manchester Derby before Bruno scored… make it make sense! #MUFC @rwc49 pic.twitter.com/kBGH7rPQ2m— Greg ⚒ (@d0nkeydr0p) January 27, 2023
Saka remonstrated with the official and tried to explain he did not go for the ball. It caused quite a stir given Marcus Rashford's controversial role in Bruno Fernandes' goal for Manchester United against rivals City.
At first the goal was disallowed by the linesman as Rashford was offside from Casemiro's pass. A VAR review deemed that he had not interfered because he did not touch the ball and so equaliser stood.
However, Rashford did run towards ball until the very last second - with Pep Guardiola saying. "Rashford was offside and he "distracted our keeper and defenders".
The double standards were called out by plenty of folks on social media.
One wrote: "What the hell was that lino flagging Saka offside for? Didn't go for the ball, didn't get the ball, stopped a genuine counter attack."
Another agreed: "Saka was flagged for offside after making no attempt to interfere with play or win the ball, yet Marcus Rashford wasn’t flagged for Bruno's goal in the Manchester Derby... Make it make sense."
A third stated: "These refs simply don’t know the rules, how was that offside on Saka."
A fourth commented: "Saka given offside for not being involved in an attacking play smh. Atrocious officiating in this country."
A fifth weighed in: "Very odd how the offside rule changed tonight. Saka not involved with play like Rashford was."
Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports & ITV
Topics: Bukayo Saka, Arsenal, Manchester City, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes