Real Madrid-Liverpool: Was Asensio’s goal valid?

Lucas Vazquez’s foul on Sadio Mané could (should?) Have resulted in the cancellation of Real Madrid’s second goal scored by Marco Asensio against Liverpool (3-1) on Tuesday in the quarter-final first leg of the Champions League.

The revamped defense of Real Madrid managed to contain without too much difficulty the timid attacks of Liverpool (3-1) on Tuesday in the quarter-final first leg of the Champions League. Even if it means flirting with the yellow line. One action particularly angered Jürgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool: the one before Madrid’s second goal scored by Marco Asensio. A little less than thirty seconds earlier, his striker Sadio Mané had been retained in the middle of the race by Lucas Vazquez while they were fighting over a long ball from Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Mané looks up at the ball when Vazquez seems only focused on his opponent
Mané looks up at the ball when Vazquez seems only focused on his opponent © Capture
Vazquez hits Mané
Vazquez hits Mané © Capture
Vazquez's foul on Mané not reported by the referee
Vazquez’s foul on Mané not reported by the referee © Capture

At real speed, doubt is allowed. But cameras placed along the touchline and behind the goal highlight a stroller from the Spanish right-back in the back of the Senegalese international, only focused on the ball. The latter fell to the ground but German referee Felix Brych did not flinch. He also did not use video assistance when validating Asensio’s goal.

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The laws of the game of the IFAB allow however to review the images after a goal in the event of “violation of the team in attack during the action which led to the goal”. They also state: “since the video assistant referee automatically ‘checks’ every situation / decision, coaches or players do not have to request an analysis”. If we are to believe this regulation, the video referees did not judge Vazquez’s gesture as a fault.

Georginio Wijnaldum, captain of the Reds, protested after the goal by inviting the referee to look into the previous action. In vain. At the end of the meeting, Jürgen Klopp denounced a personal decision by Mr Brych against Sadio Mané.

“The situation with Sadio, I’m not sure what the referee did tonight,” said Klopp after the game. It looked like something personal because he dealt with the situation with Sadio – who is a clear foul – like it’s a dive. From that point on, every time Sadio fell he couldn’t get anything anymore. It’s just not correct. I told him after the game , I think he was unfair to Sadio. He’s not the one who makes us lose the game but in those moments you just need a good referee. That would have been enough. “

The violent sole of Mané on Vazquez a few minutes after the contentious action between the two players
The violent sole of Mané on Vazquez a few minutes after the contentious action between the two players © Capture

Moments after this action, Mané received a yellow card for a violent sole on… Lucas Vazquez. It could also have been another color.

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