There were plenty of frustrating moments in Wednesday’s 2-2 draw between PSV Eindhoven and Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League, but probably the one that sticks in the minds of supporters the most is the goal that never was. Davinson Sanchez had a first half goal waved off by the Slovenian linesman for... reasons that weren’t entirely clear.
Now, former Premier League match official Mark Clattenburg has registered his opinion on the incident in his column in the Daily Mail: that goal was valid and should have stood.
At the time of Sanchez’s shot, Harry Kane was positioned just ahead of the goal line, behind the keeper but with a PSV defender behind him. It was unclear at the time the goal was waved off because Kane was in an offside position, or if he was interfering with the ability of the defense to make a stop. According to Clattenburg, neither was enough to wave off the goal.
“While Harry Kane was standing in an offside position when Sanchez took the shot, he was not interfering with play.
“Standing on the goal-line, he was not in the goalkeeper’s line of vision and did not impact on his ability to make a save.
“At corners, the officials have to work as a team. The referee is better placed to see the goalkeeper’s line of sight while the assistant can assess how far a player in an offside position is interfering with play.
“The assistant must have thought that Kane either touched the ball or hindered the goalkeeper in some way. As neither happened, it was a bad call and the goal should have stood.”
Spurs went on to level the score a couple of minutes later and went 2-1 ahead early in the second half but conceded a late goal to Luuk De Jong after Hugo Lloris was issued a red card and Spurs were down to ten men.
It’s impossible to know whether that goal would’ve won the match for Spurs, but it certainly would’ve changed the match going forward, and it’s hugely frustrating that such a game-changing error can be made in what is supposed to be Europe’s most important football competition.
We all loved to yell at Clattenburg when he was officiating Premier League matches (that’s probably why he left to head the officials’ organization in Saudi Arabia) but in this case he’s right, and now I feel bad again, great.