Friday, September 29, 2023

VAR followed the law and was right to rule Eddie Nketiah offside for Gabriel Martinelli’s goal in Arsenal v Everton

Gary Neville was ‘confused’ by Gabriel Martinelli’s overturned opener for Arsenal against Everton, and he wasn’t the only one.

The Gunners appeared to have got off to a sublime start at Goodison Park when Fabio Vieira’s inch-perfect pass played in the Brazilian, who tucked home beautifully.

Martinelli’s fine goal was ruled out by VAR, and it appeared harshSky Sports

It wasn’t to be, though, with VAR intervening, which almost proved detrimental for Arsenal up until Leandro Trossard fired home the match-winner in the 69th minute.

Despite Arsenal still coming away with the three points, the call to overturn Martinelli’s goal could have been costly, and sparked plenty of debate.

While Neville’s qualms about camera angles were academic, there was much confusion over the ball forward in the build-u[ being deflected by Beto.

Gabriel Magalhaes tried to play a square ball to William Saliba inside his own half, but it was blocked by the Portuguese striker.

The ball then cannoned forward to Eddie Nketiah, who collected it after coming back from an offside position.

Nketiah then instantly gave the ball to Vieira for his assist to Martinelli, whose celebrations after putting the ball in the net were soon cut short.

Beto blocked Gabriel’s passSky Sports

It went flying forward to an offside NketiahSky Sports

Who then gave the ball to Vieira to assist MartinelliSky Sports

However, International Football Association Board [IFAB] rules explain why Beto’s touch didn’t invalidate Nketiah being offside.

The Everton striker didn’t ‘deliberately play’ the ball, as rule 11.2 states: “‘Deliberate play’ (excluding deliberate handball) is when a player has control of the ball with the possibility of:

passing the ball to a team-mate;gaining possession of the ball; orclearing the ball (e.g. by kicking or heading it)

Replays showed Beto clearly had no time at all to make a deliberate play of the ball, making Nketiah’s involvement, and therefore Martinelli’s goal, offside.

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