Manchester City defender Manuel Akanji says it was a joke that Bruno Fernandes’ goal in the Manchester derby was allowed to stand, believing it should have been flagged as offside.
City were leading the match 1-0 at Old Trafford when Marcus Rashford was played in behind the visitors’ defence, although the England striker was clearly offside.
Although Rashford ran onto the ball he did not touch it and at the last second allowed Fernandes to rush onto it from on onside position and finish past Ederson.
The goal stood as Rashford neither touched the ball nor impeded a City defender, but it was a hard one to take as it is hard to argue that his position did not impact how City were defending the move.
Akanji certainly felt that his side were hard done by with the decision, with his mood not helped by Rashford scoring five minutes later to give United a memorable 2-1 win.
‘To be honest for me the first goal is a joke that it can be allowed like this,’ Akanji told the BBC.
‘I see Rashford, he’s clearly offside so I play him offside. He runs to the last second and stops when the ball is right in front of him and right in front of Eddy [Ederson] to score the goal. Then he stops because Bruno is calling him because he’s not offside.
‘I understand he doesn’t touch the ball but he runs for 30 metres, he’s chasing the ball. It’s clearly offside.
‘Also the referee doesn’t even look at the situation. When it gets explained at the beginning of the year I thought it was clearly offside. In the end it’s not offside.’
Nathan Ake, Akanji’s partner in central defence for the game, also feels Rashford had to be interfering in play.
‘It was very frustrating,’ he said. ‘I think from my point of view he is interfering with play. For the goalkeeper, for our defenders it is difficult to see what they can do because he is still there a second before Fernandes shoots the ball.
‘He definitely interfered, in my opinion, but the referee gives it and after that we lost our way. We tried to maybe force it straight away to get back into the game but we left ourselves too open for the counter-attack and they were waiting for that.’
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