The reason Alexandre Lacazette’s goal was disallowed at Old Trafford

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Former referee Phil Dowd has explained how Lacazette broke the laws of the game in Wednesday’s 2-2 draw

Alexandre Lacazette thought he had scored a late, late winning goal for Arsenal against Manchester United, only to see his strike disallowed.

The Gunners forward headed the ball out of David de Gea’s hands after creeping up behind the Spain goalkeeper.

BT Sport

Lacazette thought he had won the game for Arsenal with his sneaky move

Lacazette finished into the empty net after taking the ball off De Gea, and he looked incredulous when Andre Marriner, the referee, deemed the goal illegal.

However, Marriner’s decision to disallow Lacazette’s strike was CORRECT, according to former ref Phil Dowd.

Dowd said: “The law has changed. He [De Gea] is considered to be in control of the ball when he has it in both hands, his outstretched hand or between any other surface.

What the law says – fouls and misconduct

The Laws of the Game, under section 12 for Fouls and Misconduct, explain that players cannot challenge a keeper when he is control of the ball.

  • The law says: “A goalkeeper cannot be challenged by an opponent when in control of the ball with the hands.”
  • Decision: indirect free kick.
  • Furthermore, goalkeepers have further protection when they are attempting to release the ball.
  • The law also says a free kick will be awarded if a player: “Prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from the hands or kicks or attempts to kick the ball when the goalkeeper is in the process of releasing it.”
  • Decision: indirect free kick.

“He has the ball in his hand, he is in control at all times and cannot be challenged.

“Therefore the foul was given.”

The Arsenal star was able to slot into an empty net… but his goal was disallowed

BT Sport

The Arsenal star was able to slot into an empty net… but his goal was disallowed

Arsenal fans, like Lacazette, believed what the striker did in the 2-2 draw with Man United was perfectly legal.


One wrote: “Sorry correct me if I’m wrong but I’ve grown up knowing that if the keeper is only holding the ball with one hand you can take the ball from him, Lacazette has done so in a fair and legal way, no high foot, with his head, and put the ball in the net, why has this not counted?”

Lacazette thought he had grabbed a late winner at Old Trafford

Lacazette thought he had grabbed a late winner at Old Trafford

Another said: “I think that should stand. Not too sure on the rules but the keeper doesn’t have full control (two hands on ball) and there is no foul on the keeper.”

One comment read: “I swear what Lacazette just did to De Gea when only holding the ball with one hand is perfectly legit and legal.”

A fellow user posted: “I cannot for the life of me see why the ref disallowed a goal when Lacazette headed the ball out of De Gea’s hand without otherwise touching him just now.”

However, Dowd’s insistence that Lacazette broke the rules shows that these Gunners supporters were mistaken.

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