Kylian Mbappe’s ‘offside’ goal vs Spain: Why did VAR allow France’s winner to stand?

  • Rob Swan

Kylian Mbappe scored France’s controversial winning goal against Spain in the UEFA Nations League final on Sunday night.

Mikel Oyarzabal put Spain 1-0 up at the San Siro in the 64th minute before Karim Benzema equalised with a stunning goal shortly afterwards.

However, the final was settled in somewhat bizarre circumstances by Mbappe, who was in an offside position when Theo Hernandez played the pass that led to the winner.

Mbappe kept his composure to finish after finding himself one-on-one with Unai Simon.

No further goals were scored, which meant Mbappe and his French teammates lifted the Nations League trophy after the full-time whistle.

Many football fans were up in arms with the fact that Mbappe’s winning goal was allowed to stand despite a VAR review.

Mbappe was clearly in front of the last defender, Eric Garcia, when the ball was played – so why wasn’t the Paris Saint-Germain superstar flagged for being offside?

Well, it turns out that the correct decision *was* made by the English match officials – as strange as that may sound.


Twitter thread explains why Mbappe’s goal vs Spain was legal

ESPN’s Dale Johnson has explained why the goal was legal in a fascinating thread on Twitter.

Let’s take a closer look:


Garcia was effectively punished for trying to play the ball. Had he left it, Mbappe would have been offside and Spain would have been awarded a free-kick.

Johnson says he “doubts all referees will agree with each other on the application of the offside law on Kylian Mbappe’s winner”, which is surely evidence that change is required to make this particular law far less complicated.


Ex-Premier League referee has his say on Mbappe’s goal

Meanwhile, former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher was asked for his view on the decision to allow the goal on Sky Sports.

He said: “Technically, it’s definitely a goal. For me, I don’t like the rule – but as a referee, I have to apply the rule.”

The video shows a similar example involving Harry Kane from a Premier League fixture between Liverpool and Tottenham a few years ago.

Kane was awarded a penalty on that occasion, despite the fact he was in an offside position when the ball was played, because of Dejan Lovren’s failed interception.

“It isn’t a new rule,” Gallagher pointed out. “FIFA are happy with it, so it will continue.”


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