Premier League announce new offside focus following controversial Manchester City goal

The Premier League has confirmed that guidelines have been added regarding the offside law, with players no longer allowed to challenge the ball if they come from an offside position.

Rules clarification was needed after Manchester City scored a controversial goal against Aston Villa last week. With the game 0-0, City took the lead when Rodri came back from an offside position to tackle Tyrone Mings, before giving Bernardo Silva time to score.

Tyrone Mings, Jonathan Moss
Mings was left furious by the decision | Clive Brunskill / Getty Images

In the aftermath of the strike, Dean Smith received a red card for protesting to officials, while Mings called the decision “nonsense”.

In response to the incident, the Premier League discussed the decision with IFAB and UEFA. The results of those discussions were then released in a statement, which read: “When a player in an offside position immediately impacts an opponent who has deliberately played the ball, match officials should give priority to challenging an opponent for the ball, and therefore the an offside offense of “interfering with an opponent by affecting the opponent’s ability to play the ball” should be penalized.

“As a result, if a situation similar to that involving Rodri’s impact on Mings were to occur in an upcoming game, then the impact would be penalized for offside.

Smith's reaction saw him kicked out
Smith’s reaction saw him kicked out | CLIVE BRUNSKILL / Getty Images

“However, it is important to remember that when a player in an offside position receives the ball from an opponent who is deliberately playing the ball (eg a misplaced pass or a bad stroke), including by handball deliberate, the player is not considered to have gained an advantage, unless it is a deliberate stoppage by an opponent.

“As a result, Aston Villa’s first goal against Newcastle United on Saturday 23 January 2021 was not properly penalized for offside as Ollie Watkins received the ball following a deliberate play by Fabian Schar and failed affected Schar’s ability to play the ball. ”