Manchester United’s genius disallowed goal from a corner kick routine vs Chelsea in 2009

  • Rob Swan

Manchester United’s 3-0 victory over Chelsea on January 11, 2009, was a big moment in the 2008-09 Premier League title race.

This result – and indeed, the performance – fired a clear warning from Sir Alex Ferguson and his players to Liverpool.

The Merseyside outfit sat top of the table and their manager Rafael Benitez had taunted the Red Devils by suggesting they might be “a little bit scared” to see their fierce rivals in pole position.

But it was United who eventually lifted the trophy – despite losing 4-1 to Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 14 – after finishing the season four points above Benitez’s side.

Things may have been different, though, without that confidence-boosting win over Chelsea several months earlier.

Goals from Nemanja Vidic, Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov sealed a deserved three points for the Red Devils at Old Trafford.

This fixture also saw United controversially denied a genius goal from an innovative corner routine.

Rooney trotted over to place the ball on the corner quadrant before walking away with his head bowed.


The forward looked over to Ryan Giggs, who was aware that Rooney had secretly taken the corner.

With the Chelsea players oblivious to United’s plan, Giggs found himself in acres of space and picked out Cristiano Ronaldo with a cross. The Portuguese superstar found the back of the net with a thumping header.

However, Rooney and co. were left incensed when the goal was disallowed.


The linesman raised his flag as Giggs dribbled with the ball, and referee Howard Webb subsequently chalked off the goal.

A harsh decision? Many thought so at the time.

You can watch the incident here…

“Creative, inventive – it’s a great talking point because they know exactly what they’re doing,” former England international Jamie Redknapp said in the Sky Sports studio.

“Maybe they could call it ‘ungentlemanly conduct’.”

Perhaps, although surely footballers should be encouraged to be innovative and imaginative on the pitch?

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s famous Champions League assist for Liverpool against Barcelona was another example of quick-thinking from a corner that led to a goal.


Divock Origi’s goal was allowed to stand on that occasion – and perhaps United’s clever corner routine in 2009 should have been deemed legal, too.

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