Game #5608

Season | 2020-21 |

Matchday | #20 |

League Match | #16 |
Manager Game | #103 |
Wednesday, 20 January 2021
Premier League | Away | Manchester City | Etihad Stadium | Behind closed doors | 

20-21 #7 Tyrone Mings
20-21 #7 Tyrone Mings

Wednesday, 20 January 2021 | Tyrone Mings heads away from danger as Manchester City attack

20-21 #5 Matty Cash
20-21 #5 Matty Cash

Wednesday, 20 January 2021 | Matty Cash handles the ball to concede a penalty on 90'

20-21 #2 Dean Smith
20-21 #2 Dean Smith

Wednesday, 20 January 2021 | Dean Smith is sent off by Jonathan Moss for suggesting he and his fellow officials were clowns after a controversial opening goal for Manchester City

20-21 #7 Tyrone Mings
20-21 #7 Tyrone Mings

Wednesday, 20 January 2021 | Tyrone Mings heads away from danger as Manchester City attack

1/7

Game Summary |

Manager | Dean Smith 

KO | 18.00 |
Referee | Jonathan Moss |

 HT Score | 0-0 |

 FT Result | Lost |
 FT Score | 0-2 |

Last 5 Games | WDLLL |

League Position | 11th | -5 |

Team News |

After the quarantine of the Villa first team squad due to the COVID-19 outbreak at Bodymoor Heath Dean Smith returned as Villa boss and once again named a full first team squad.

Line Up |

GK Emiliano Martínez |

RB Matty Cash |

CB Ezri Konsa |

CB Tyrone Mings |

LB Matt Targett | SUB OFF | 75' |

M Douglas Luiz |

M John McGinn | BOOKED | 67' |

M Jack Grealish |

M Ross Barkley | SUB OFF | 68' |

W Bertrand Traoré | SUB OFF | 68' |

CF Ollie Watkins |

 

Substitutes |

W Anwar El Ghazi for W Bertrand Traoré | 68' |

M Jacob Ramsey for M Ross Barkley | 68' | 

LB Neil Taylor BOOKED | 86' | for LB Matt Targett | 75' | 

Unused Substitutes |

GK Tom Heaton

CB Björn Engels

M Marvelous Nakamba

RB Frédéric Guilbert

RB Ahmed Elmohamady

CF Keinan Davis

Cards |

Yellow | John McGinn | 67' |

Yellow | Neil Taylor for a bad foul | 86' | 

Match Stats |

Possession F | 17%
Possession A | 83%
Shots F | 2
Shots A | 29
Shots on Target F | 1
Shots on Target A | 13
Corners F | 2
Corners A | 18
Fouls F | 2

Fouls A | 7

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 25.49 | 

Oldest Player | GK Emiliano Martínez | 28.40 |

Youngest Player | M Douglas Luiz | 22.73 |  

Not Selected |

GK Jed Steer

M Conor Hourihane

Unavailable |

Injury | 3 |

CF Wesley | Knee, ACL 1 Jan 20 - 31 Jan 21 |

W Trézéguet | Hamstring, 17 Dec 20 - 23 Jan 21 |

CB Kortney Hause | Foot, 20 Jan 21 - Unknown |

Loaned Out | 3 |

W Indiana Vassilev | Burton Albion | 17 Sep 20 - 31 May 21 |

CF Cameron Archer | Solihull Moors | 2 Oct 20 - 3 Jan 21 |

GK Lovre Kalinić | HNK Hajduk Split | 18 Jan 21 - 30 Jun 21 |

Unregistered | 1 |

M Henri Lansbury |

On this day 20th January 2021

*Aston Villa manager Dean Smith*

*Wednesday, 20 January 2021*

“It was a farcical decision. I’ve not seen a goal like that given. It needs to be looked at. I don’t think anyone in this stadium thought it was a goal. 


“I thought they would go over to the VAR screen. I saw the incident and saw it was kicking off, so I asked the fourth officials did they get juggling balls for Christmas. 


“For the second goal, a header from a yard out that has hit his arm. That’s not handball. Ridiculous. 


“It was a heroic performance in terms of energy and commitment but we didn’t show enough quality against a very good team.


“It’s been tough but much tougher for other people across the country, so it’s not too hard for my lads to do 10 days in isolation when some people have done it for nine months.”

---


*Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola*

*Wednesday, 20 January 2021*

 

“It was a very good performance again, against a top side. They are very dangerous and just look at their results this season. A big victory.


“I didn’t see the action [for the first goal], I know they were complaining but I didn’t see it.”


/Would you be unhappy if it happened to you?/

“Yeah."


“There is VAR here no? So, I don’t know the rule or the situation but they analysed it.

---

*Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola*

*Wednesday, 20 January 2021*

 

The top four players they have, player like Jack Grealish and Ross Barkley, the feeling is that wow, you feel the dangers in every actions. 


“We arrived at the byline many times but could not score the goal but Bernando Silva was there and his goal made the difference.


“We struggled against Brighton in the last game - they are one of the best teams for creating chances, so it has been hard for us. Maybe they are not clinical but they are good.


“It was 5-7 minutes where Aston Villa had two or three chances. When they can run with the likes of Ollie Watkins, Jack Grealish, Ross Barkley but we make actions and control the passes. 


*On whether the first goal was offside:*

 

”We didn’t see it but there is VAR. It is here. I’m not going to analyse the game but in against a top team we have come up with a brilliant performance.” 

---


*Aston Villa manager Dean Smith*

*Wednesday, 20 January 2021*

“In terms of effort, it was heroic. We only had three days’ training and played a very good team. They had lots of chances but they’ve missed them and they’ve been given two goals at the end.


“Are we just going to leave players behind the line then? It’s farcical. He was 10 yards offside and come back and tackled our player, it’s a pathetic law and a pathetic decision.


“I said to the fourth official David Coote ‘did you get juggling balls for Christmas?’ I don’t think any other manager would get sent off for that.


“Matty Cash is a yard away for the handball, he can’t jump without his arms up. He didn’t even look at it, it flabbergasts me. It was a poor performance from the officials and that’s cost us.”

---

*Manchester City goalscorer Bernando Silva*

*Wednesday, 20 January 2021*

 

*It was a very important win, a tough game for us. just three more points and on to the next one. 
 

“It felt like an important win because we got to 75th minute without scoring, so to get those two goals, we’re very happy. 

*On whether the first goal was offside:*

”I haven’t checked it yet. Our player was offside but when their defender touched it, he stops being offside, I think. But I haven’t checked it. 

---

Clinton Morrison Former Crystal Palace striker on BBC Radio 5 Live


"Aston Villa have been excellent tonight. They will have a lot of tired legs out there and you can see why Dean Smith made changes. They were excellent and definitely competed in the game."

---

*BBC Sport*

*Wednesday, 20 January 2021*

*Dean Smith fumes at 'pathetic' offside decision*


Aston Villa boss Dean Smith felt the decision to allow Manchester City’s opening goal to stand in his side’s 2-0 defeat was “farcical”.
 

City midfielder Rodri was offside when Tyrone Mings intercepted a ball forward, but ran back to challenge the Villa defender and then fed Bernardo Silva to score.


Smith was sent off for his protests about the goal, which came after his side had defended brilliantly for 79 minutes, but afterwards he was still adamant it should have been ruled out.

“It’s farcical. He was 10 yards offside and came back and tackled our player, it’s a pathetic law and a pathetic decision,” he told BT Sport.

Speaking to BBC Sport, he added: "I've not seen a goal like that given. It needs to be looked at. I don't think anyone in this stadium thought it was a goal.


"I thought they would go over to the VAR screen. I saw the incident and saw it was kicking off, so I asked the fourth officials did they get juggling balls for Christmas?


“If that is the law, then definitely [it’s a problem]. You can’t just have people standing offside and taking advantage of an unfair position.”


When asked if he would have been unhappy to be on the end of a similar position, City boss Guardiola said “yes”, but added:

“There is VAR here, no? So, I don’t know the rule or the situation but they analysed it.”


Smith was also angry with the decision to award a penalty for City’s second goal, scored by Ilkay Gundogan from the spot after Matty Cash handled a Gabriel Jesus header.


“A header from a yard out that has hit his arm. That’s not handball. Ridiculous,” he said.

*What is the rule?*


By the letter of the law, Rodri’s goal was legitimate.


In a statement, the group representing Premier League referees said: “As soon as Mings deliberately played the ball the following law applies:


“A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent who deliberately plays the ball, including by deliberate handball, is not considered to have gained an advantage, unless it was a deliberate save by any opponent.


“As the Law deems that Rodri has not gained an advantage, he has not committed an offside offence and play should be allowed to continue. Rodri legitimately took possession of the ball from Mings, starting the attack which resulted in the goal.”

---

*Villa defender Tyrone Mings*

*Wednesday, 20 January 2021*

"Never even heard of that rule, just let players stand offside, then run back & tackle you? In hindsight I should’ve cleared it, 100%, but didn’t even know that was the case. Nonsense."

---

On this day 21st January 2021

*Dean Smith: Aston Villa manager charged by FA after red card*

*Thursday, 21 January 2021*


Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has been charged by the Football Association after he was sent off during Wednesday’s defeat by Manchester City.


Smith, 49, allegedly used abusive and/or insulting language towards a match official after City’s opening goal in the 2-0 Premier League defeat.


City midfielder Rodri ran back from an offside position to tackle Tyrone Mings and pass to goalscorer Bernardo Silva.
After the match Smith described the decision as “farcical” and “pathetic”.


The Aston Villa manager has until Tuesday, 26 January to respond to the FA charge.

Asked about the incident at full-time, Smith said: “I thought they would go over to the VAR screen. I saw the incident and saw it was kicking off, so I asked the fourth officials did they get juggling balls for Christmas?”


By the letter of the law, City’s goal was legitimate because Mings was deemed to have deliberately played the ball. Subsequently, Rodri was not considered to have gained an advantage.

---

On this day 22nd January 2021

 

*Dean Smith: Aston Villa manager to serve one-game touchline ban against Newcastle*

*Friday, 22 January 2021*

 

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith will serve a touchline ban in their home Premier League game against Newcastle on Saturday.
Smith, 49, was charged by the Football Association for using abusive and/or insulting language towards a match official after he was sent off in Wednesday’s defeat by Manchester City.


“I will reluctantly accept it,” said Smith on Friday. “I will accept the charge of insulting the officials. I certainly didn’t abuse them and that will be the end of the matter.”


Smith was also fined £8,000 by the FA.


On Wednesday, City midfielder Rodri ran back from an offside position to tackle Tyrone Mings and pass to goalscorer Bernardo Silva for City’s first goal as they won 2-0 at Etihad Stadium.


After the match Smith described the decision as “farcical” and “pathetic” and added: “I thought they would go over to the VAR (video assistant referee) screen. I saw the incident and saw it was kicking off, so I asked the fourth officials did they get juggling balls for Christmas?”


By the letter of the law, City’s goal was legitimate because Mings was deemed to have deliberately played the ball. Subsequently, Rodri was not considered to have gained an advantage.


After accepting the FA charge, Smith said: “I don’t really regret it. That’s my way of dealing with the situation, a touch of sarcasm.” 

Match Report

*BBC Sport*

*Wednesday, 20 January 2021*


Late goals from Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan ended Aston Villa's resistance as Manchester City moved top of the Premier League for the first time this season - for a couple of hours before neighbours United regained the leadership.


Pep Guardiola’s side were knocked off the summit later on Wednesday as Manchester United beat Fulham, but the determination they showed to claim their sixth successive league win underlined that they are here to stay in this title race.


Villa’s first team, playing their first game since New Year’s Day because of a coronavirus outbreak at the club, showed no after-effects of their 19-day hiatus and produced a dogged defensive display.


They held out until the 79th minute, when Rodri controversially stole the ball off Tyrone Mings and fed Bernardo, who brilliantly fired into the top corner from the edge of the box.


Rodri was offside before he returned to an onside position to challenge Mings and Villa manager Dean Smith was sent off for his protests.


It meant he was not there to see Gundogan make sure of the points from the spot soon afterwards after Matty Cash handled a Gabriel Jesus header, in what was a far more straightforward decision for referee Jon Moss.

City's perseverance pays off
For long spells on a miserable night at Etihad Stadium it appeared that City's breakthrough would never come.


Things might have been more straightforward for City had Bernardo converted from close range when a corner was headed into his path after four minutes, but instead Emiliano Martinez made a brave save at his feet and set the tone for a battling Villa performance.


City had 24 efforts at goal before Bernardo eventually broke the deadlock, but 12 of them were blocked and the closest they had come to a breakthrough was when Joao Cancelo's second-half shot bounced back off the bar.


Villa rode their luck, especially when Martinez denied John Stones from a corner and the ball somehow evaded Gundogan when he appeared certain to follow up and score, but they also had chances of their own.


Bertrand Traore almost made the most of a slip by Kevin de Bruyne but his curling effort was well saved by Ederson, who also had to claw away a goalbound Douglas Luiz effort to secure his side's fifth consecutive clean sheet.


Villa vibrant on return to action


Villa leave Manchester empty handed, just as they did in their previous Premier League game against United on 1 January, but they deserve great credit for their performance here.


Nine unnamed players and five members of their backroom staff had tested positive for Covid-19 at the start of January, and the club’s training ground only reopened on Sunday.


They had seen their past two league games, against Everton and Tottenham, postponed but this was a reminder of the way they were playing before their season was interrupted.


Smith was December’s manager of the month after his side stayed unbeaten across five games and ended the year in fifth.


They have dropped out of the top half while they have been out of action but on this evidence that is a false position - the defensive improvement that has been the hallmark of their season was again on show here, as was their spirit.

---

*The Guardian*

*Wednesday, 20 January 2021*

*Aston Villa rue luck as Gundogan and Silva help Man City to sixth straight win*


This was a breathless affair for which an abacus was needed to keep count of the endless chances. Manchester City created most of these in a blur of activity close to Emiliano Martínez’s goal and when Aston Villa were finally breached on 79 minutes it was deserved.


Tyrone Mings dallied, Rodri mugged him, the effervescent Bernardo Silva received the ball, swerved away from a clutch of defenders, then fired in a memorable strike. This brought jubilation for City and anger for Villa as the visitors complained Rodri had come from an offside position. Dean Smith’s ire was enough to have him sent off by Jonathan Moss, the referee unimpressed by the manager’s vociferous complaints.


Moss’s interpretation was correct as once Mings touched the ball Rodri was onside. Smith remained indignant. “Are we just going to leave players behind the line then?” he said. “It’s farcical. He was 10 yards offside and come back and tackled our player, it’s a pathetic law and a pathetic decision.

“I said to the fourth official David Coote: ‘Did you get juggling balls for Christmas?’ I don’t think any other manager would get sent off for that.” Yet with Ilkay Gundogan adding a late penalty after Matthew Cash handled, at the final whistle the bottom line was that  City had moved on to 38 points , as their fine form continued.


A content Guardiola said: “When we lost v Tottenham 2-0, in November we were 12th but the most important thing is the fact we are back to playing [where] we have to play – to be contenders.”

 

Smith, though, was equally unhappy with the penalty:

 

“Matty Cash is a yard away for the handball, he can’t jump without his arms up. He didn’t even look at it – it flabbergasts me. It was a poor performance from the officials and that’s cost us.”


An all-day downpour made the surface slick and from kick-off Kevin De Bruyne soon had the visitors careering about their penalty area. First was a dipping free-kick Jack Grealish headed out for a corner. The Belgian hit this in from the right, Rodri headed to Silva, his shot was saved well by Martínez, and Mings flung himself into a melee of players to clear.

City’s recent upsurge in form has returned the familiar sight of their opponent being under siege. So it was that Villa were bombarded – Phil Foden next dribbled mesmerically, gliding beyond two defenders before being stopped.

Villa’s sole attack at that point was a breakaway in which Ross Barkley failed to find Grealish in space and, now, came disruption for City as Kyle Walker was forced off with what appeared to be a dead leg, Oleksandr Zinchenko replacing him. There was no break to the home side’s rhythm, though. Foden fed Gundogan along the left, he pulled back to De Bruyne and a fierce effort hit Mings. Next a Raheem Sterling-João Cancelo one-two along the opposite flank had the latter’s cross this time cleared by Matt Targett.


Then a 20-yard pot-shot from Rodri was blocked – inadvertently – by Sterling as the ball headed for goal.

As the interval neared Villa looked to have stymied City’s percussive flow only for a final warning. A corner taken by Bertrand Traoré became a De Bruyne breakaway in which Foden was fed and saw his drive blocked by Cash. This drew groans from the City substitutes: for the spurned opportunity and all those that had come before.


Guardiola had Gabriel Jesus on the bench yet despite the lack of killer touch he remained there as the second half began. When Sterling and Foden each zipped in crosses a dedicated No 9 would surely have been there to turn home. Instead with a floating player in the position – one of Sterling or De Bruyne – Villa escaped once more.

City did the same when a Traoré counter took him past the last man, De Bruyne, before shooting at Ederson, but their rocket burst of chances continued. This time a Cancelo dummy preceded a shot crashed on to the bar and, at last, Jesus entered. This was enforced by a De Bruyne injury but the question was whether it might actually prove a blessing.


A first answer was no, as the Brazilian failed to take aim when slid in by Foden. But next came Silva’s strike and when Cash handballed, Gundogan made sure.


After the match, Guardiola added that he was unsure if De Bruyne and Walker’s injuries were serious.

---

Post Match

*Birmingham Mail*

*MOSS HAS HISTORY*

 

Good old Jon Moss, eh. Villa fans, this is the same referee that failed to spot Sokratis’ blatant hand ball at the Emirates last season. Moss also awarded Man Utd a penalty after Bruno Fernandes trod on Ezri Konsa back in July during Project Restart. Fast-forward to this campaign and he’s at it again ... even before Tyrone Mings chested that ball down it was Rodri who was advancing towards Mings as he sensed an opportunity. It was a laughable decision last night and Smith was right to call them out ... in ... last night’s Supercoppa Italiana match between Juventus and Napoli, the exact same thing happened - only for officials in Italy to rule that Cristiano Ronaldo was in an offside position. The Portuguese legend’s body language even suggested he knew he was in the wrong, too. I mean which one is it, Premier League?

°Villa boss Dean Smith*

*HOW DID YOU RATE YOUR PERFORMANCE?*


“In terms of their commitment and effort it was heroic given they only had three days to prepare. I wasn’t going to make excuses and the players were ready for the game and we came up against a very good Man City team.

“I thought we were sloppy at times on the ball. We never broke up their possession up as we normally do. I do feel that a few of the lads needed that game to get back into it again and it’s done us the world of good.

“I’m frustrated obviously. They created so so many chances and missed them or we got good blocks and good clearances. Defensively heroic with what they did and the will to keep the ball out of the back of the net. They showed a really good team spirit.


“But I didn’t think it was one of our better performances. There are reasons behind that. Lads have been keeping fit on bikes and running machines. The commitment, team spirit and effort the players put in was heroic. I just felt we looked a bit leggy at the start of the second half and never broke their possession. When we showed quality we created some chances.”


*FRUSTRATED WITH CITY’S OPENING GOAL?*


“I still don’t understand the rule to be honest. I don’t think anybody here can tell me why the actual goal’s been given. He’s taken advantage of an offside possession. He’s 10 yards offside, comes back and tackles Tyrone Mings from behind. What’s Tyrone meant to do? Let it go through or stand 10 yards off all of the time in the next few games now?


“I don’t understand. At least go over to the screen. It looked a clear offside. When I realised they weren’t even looking at the screen and VAR didn’t mention anything I just told the fourth official that I thought they had juggling balls for Christmas.”


*IS THERE A FAULT WITH THE LAW SUGGESTING RODRI WASN’T OFFSIDE?*


“You can’t just have people standing offside and taking advantage of an unfair position. Nobody in the stadium thinks that should have been awarded so that tells you (the rule) is wrong if that is the rule.”


*WERE YOU NOT AWARE OF THE LAW?*


“I don’t think anybody was, was there? Surely if you’re in an offside position you’re taking advantage of an offside position.”
 

*THE REF ON BT SPORT SAID IT WASN’T OFFSIDE…*
 

Was that the ref that originally thought it was offside?”
 

*YEAH IT WAS… PETER WALTON*
 

“There you go. We’ve got an official who, first of all, says it’s offside and then he changes his mind. Hence me getting a yellow card for saying I think you’ve had juggling balls for Christmas.”


*WHAT DID YOU GET THE RED CARD FOR?*
 

“Yeah I can and it certainly doesn’t need to be censored because there were no swear words. He came over and said I was interpreting the rules of the game. I said well you should have done that earlier in the game.


“I thought I got treated rather unfairly because I’ve seen a lot of worse things said to Jonathan Moss before and he’s not dealt with it like that before. It just looks like he couldn’t wait to give me a yellow and a red. I’m frustrated with myself because I got sucked into something that I shouldn’t have.”


*THOUGHTS ON PENALTY DECISION?*


“I was in the director’s’ box looking at a screen and, again, I don’t know where else Matt Cash could have put his hands from a yard away. He’s had a header headed straight at his arm. Was he meant to try and jump just with his head with his arms down? I don’t know.


“Again, VAR doesn’t seem to be bothered with it but was it a clear handball? It’s not denying it hitting his arm but he couldn’t get his arm out of the way. Surely. From all of the meetings I’ve had, if you’re in close proximity and you can’t do anything about it then it’s  not handball. Unfortunately they give it today.

 
“They’ve had lots and lots of chances and not scored and we got some great blocks, defended well and, to lose two goals in the manner that we have, is hard to take.”

--- 

  

Former England defender Rio Ferdinand says Aston Villa were the victim of a “terrible decision” in their 2-0 defeat to Manchester City.


Villa were on course for at least a point until Bernardo Silva scored in the 78th minute, before Ilkay Gundogan wrapped up the points in stoppage time from the spot on Wednesday night.

Villa boss Dean Smith was sent off by referee John Moss for protesting Silva’s goal, which saw Rodri come back from an offside position to tackle Tyrone Mings and set up Silva.


While Ferdinand was critical of Mings for being caught out, the former Manchester United defender was adamant the goal should have been ruled out.

“I think it’s a terrible decision, I think he’s offside. He’s affecting the game, he’s affecting the player who is receiving the ball,” he told BT Sport.


“I think Mings has to clear this, he knows Rodri is there. Take all of the uncertainty out of this by clearing your lines.

 

“A player should understand and know when a player is coming back from offside, either bring it down and play it to your team-mate or I’ll get rid of it and reassess the situation. Again, I still think, first and foremost, it’s a terrible decision.”


Former Premier League referee Peter Walton initially agreed with Ferdinand, before stating his belief the right decision had been made.


“My initial thought, as were yours, is when Mings played the ball, it wasn’t a deliberate play on the ball,” he said.


“Therefore, he didn’t play the player onside, however, the law, and I’ll read it for you, says: ‘A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent, who deliberately plays the ball, is not considered to have gained an advantage’.


“Therefore, Mings playing the ball deliberately - you can see him try and chest the ball - plays the Manchester City player onside even though he’s in an offside position and therefore the goal should stand.


“Just to clarify that, he wasn’t gaining an advantage by being where he was.”

---

Aston Villa will be without key midfielder John McGinn for one match after he picked up what manager Dean Smith described as a ‘pathetic’ fifth booking of the season.


Smith’s ire was not aimed at the player, but at referee Jon Moss, who cautioned McGinn during the 2-0 defeat to Manchester City.

After being booked for delaying a free-kick McGinn must now sit out Saturday night’s game against Newcastle, much to the annoyance of Smith.


“Unfortunately John McGinn’s got a pathetic yellow card which means he misses the Newcastle game now,” he told Villa club media. 
“I don’t understand that decision. If he books Douglas Luiz for the tackle, not a problem, but delaying the restart - it was about half a second after the foul and we were making two subs.


“Again it looked like he couldn’t wait to get that out.”

It proved to be a controversial night for Moss, who sent Smith off for his protests over City’s first goal.


Bernardo Silva gave City the lead after 78 minutes, before Ilkay Gundogan converted from the spot to secure a 2-0 win.


Smith was sent off for disputing the build-up to the opener, which saw Rodri come back from an offside position to tackle Tyrone Mings and set up Silva.

---

26 January 2021


Football authorities have sought to clarify a law that allowed Bernardo Silva to score a highly controversial goal for Manchester City against Aston Villa in their 2-0 win last week.


City’s Rodri was returning from an offside position when he dispossessed Villa defender Tyrone Mings, who had controlled an aerial pass forward with his chest. Rodri set up Silva and City went 1-0 up.


The Villa bench was enraged and boss Dean Smith was sent off for his protests, which included asking fourth officials “whether they got juggling balls for Christmas”. He was subsequently charged by the FA with using abusive or insulting language.

 

At the time, by the letter of the law, the goal was legitimate, because Mings played the ball deliberately and so the offside player is deemed not to have gained an advantage. 


But referees group the Professional Game Match Officials Limited, rulemakers the International Football Association Board, and European governing body Uefa have since offered clarification on how such an incident should be interpreted in the future.


“Where a player in an offside position immediately impacts on an opponent who has deliberately played the ball, the match officials should prioritise challenging an opponent for the ball, and thus the offside offence of ‘interfering with an opponent by impacting on the opponent’s ability to play the ball’ should be penalised.”


The statement from the Premier League added: “Accordingly, 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.”

---


The Mail quotes a source at one top flight club as saying: “Once again they are closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.
“Why they could not have just held their hands up and admitted it was the wrong decision in the first place is beyond me. Instead they have chosen to carry out a face-saving exercise.”