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VAR ‘expert’ explains why Man United goal was given but Van Dijk goal ruled out


Liverpool fans have questioned the difference between Virgil van Dijk‘s disallowed goal in the League Cup final and Casemiro’s winner for Man United in the FA Cup.

Against Chelsea, Van Dijk of course had the last laugh, but he was earlier denied a 60th-minute opener, when his header was ruled out for offside in the League Cup final.

Just three days later, Man United scored a goal against Nottingham Forest, in which there looked to be a very similar infringement, but was ultimately allowed due to personal opinion.

At Wembley, Van Dijk headed home directly from Andy Robertson‘s crossed free-kick, but the goal was disallowed due to Wataru Endo coming back from an offside position.

Endo was supposedly ‘impacting the ability’ of Levi Colwill to ‘play or challenge for the ball’, as the offside law says.

This was widely disputed as Colwill seemed unlikely to make any impact on the play, but was ultimately the personal decision of referee Chris Kavanagh and video assistant referee John Brooks.

Here is the incident in Liverpool’s game:

A similar incident occurred on Wednesday, as Casemiro scored an 89th-minute winner against Forest in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Bruno Fernandes whipped in a cross from a similar position, which Casemiro managed to nod in to win the match.

The winner was checked, like all goals are, but the same referee, Chris Kavanagh, and VAR Darren Bond, came to the conclusion that no infringement had been committed.

This, in the eyes of many, was the wrong call, because Raphael Varane came from an offside position to impede the Forest defender, Felipe.

The accuracy of the decision again comes down to whether Felipe was deemed to be able to play or challenge for the ball, had he not been pushed by Varane.

In this instance, the officials decided Felipe hadn’t been able to play or challenge for the ball.

Here is the incident in Man United‘s game:

Ultimately, the call came down to the opinions of the officials.

Given it was the same referee, though, who made the two calls, and the short time between them, it seems strange Kavanagh arrived at different outcomes.

Whatever the case, Liverpool haven’t had the rub of the green when it comes to video assistant refereeing decisions this season.