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Bizarre goal kicks and VAR mess highlight rule changes impact on Manchester United and Man City

All summer we have been treated to stories on the way that football is going to change from VAR to handball rules and the new season has not disappointed in that regard.

Whilst we have had more clarity on some situations, we have also had more confusion on others and anger spreading among fans, players and pundits alike.

Here we take a look at three of the most significant rule changes this season and assessed their impact on football as a whole and Manchester United and Man City .

Handball rule change

What’s the rule change?

If an attacking player uses their hand or arm to either score or create a goal then it will be wiped out and labelled a handball offence.

The new handball rule set out by IFAB (the International Football Association Board) this season stipulates that a goal cannot be scored or created with the use of the arm or hand, even if it is completely accidental. Previously this wasn’t the case.

 

What has been the impact?

This rule change has altered football significantly both in the Premier League and abroad.

The tradition ‘deliberate handball’ is out of the window and now it has led some negative consequences for Man City.

Gabriel Jesus scored what he thought was a late winner against Tottenham for instance in Man City’s first home game of the league season only for the goal to be disallowed.

Aymeric Laporte might not have meant to handle the ball but it did hit his arm before falling to Jesus in the box.

It’s safe to say this rule has not gone down well with fans and has led to disallowed goals aplenty and discredited a lot of beautiful footballing moments – such as Gareth Bale’s wonder effort for Real Madrid against Paris Saint-Germain in midweek.

It’s clear this rule is changing football as it massively benefits defenders which has been seen clearly by the amount of goals which have been disallowed that would have previously been given.

 

Bizarre goal kicks

What’s the rule change?

Previously, the ball wasn’t strictly in play until it left the penalty area, whereas now, the ball is in play as soon as the goalkeeper kicks it, and he can play a short pass to defenders standing inside the box.

What has been the impact?

Man City were treated to an embarrassing conceded goal at the hands of Norwich City last time out in the Premier League and it’s clear the impact of goal kick rule changes played a part.

Nicolas Otamendi was caught sleeping on the edge of his own box after a short goal kick routine, with Emi Buendia able to steal the ball and set up Teemu Pukki to make it 3-1 to the Canaries at the time.

But you’d have to say for football as a whole this is a new and interesting change in many ways.

It has opened up a new avenue to play out from the back and not simply hit the ball up top or into the channels.

It’s perhaps better to watch but it has also led to some lackadaisical play from defenders thinking they have more time available to them.

 

VAR controversy

What’s the rule change?

The use of Video Assistant Referees has been implemented in the Premier League this season and it has had a big impact.

VAR can intervene on issues such as goals, offsides, penalties, straight red cards and mistaken identity.

Except for offsides, which are clear no matter how small on VAR, on-field decisions will only be overturned if there is a ‘clear and obvious error’.

What has been the impact?

Man City are familiar with VAR after Raheem Sterling’s injury time effort was disallowed last season in the quarter-finals of the Champions League at home to Tottenham.

Jesus’ aforementioned disallowed goal was also another instance of VAR overturning the on-field decision of goal to cost City against Spurs.

Manchester United have also been impacted by the delays surrounding decisions which are changing the way teams and fans celebrate goals.

 

We no longer have the absolute clarity of the referee giving the goal and are often wondering for seconds afterwards as to whether a decision might be overturned down the line.

This happened at Wolves earlier on in the season when United came to town. Ruben Neves struck a stunning equaliser against United before VAR was consulted and with geometric virtual lines used to determine whether Diogo Jota had been a millimetre offside earlier in the move, the goal was eventually allowed to stand after three or four minutes of deliberation.

It’s safe to say that VAR has changed the fabric of the game. We might have got to a situation where we have more correct decisions but the flow of the game, something which football prides itself on, has been negatively affected.



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