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Redknapp: Mbappe winner shouldn’t have stood

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Jamie Redknapp felt Kylian Mbappe’s winning goal in the Nations League final should have been ruled out for offside, calling the interpretation of the law unfair

Jamie Redknapp says the laws of the game surrounding offside need addressing after Kylian Mbappe’s contentious goal decided the Nations League final in France’s favour on Sunday.

Spain took the lead when Mikel Oyarzabal latched on to a long pass from Sergio Busquets, held off Dayot Upamecano and fired into the bottom corner. The French response was swift, however, with Mbappe finding Benzema who cut inside before unleashing a brilliant curling shot into the far corner to make it 1-1.

Mbappe then grabbed the winner in controversial circumstances 10 minutes from the end, racing on to a through ball from Theo Hernandez and keeping his cool to slot past Unai Simon – but only after Eric Garcia’s attempts to intercept the pass played the Paris Saint-Germain forward onside.

It brought back memories of a goal Harry Kane scored for Tottenham in the Premier League against Liverpool in February 2018 when Dejan Lovren attempted to play the ball despite the forward standing in an offside position. Redknapp believes the rule needs to be scrapped.

He told Sky Sports: “It’s a really hard one to understand because from Spain’s point of view, you’re trying to keep a good line. Mbappe has got incredible pace but he gets the timing of his run wrong. It’s the slightest of touches from Garcia.

“What the rules say is that it then becomes a second phase of play but what is Garcia supposed to do? Is he meant to just let it go even though he doesn’t know what’s behind him?

“You can see from the moment Theo Hernandez plays the ball, he’s definitely offside. But because of this delicate touch from Garcia, it’s a new phase of play. But for me it isn’t. It’s a really poor interpretation of the rule. I don’t like it and it feels unfair.

“It’s the slightest touch. It’s not like he’s tried to play it back to his goalkeeper. As a defence, you keep a good line and you have to somehow get a touch on it. If he put his flag up, no one would’ve asked any questions.

“It’s so contentious. We want to see goals in football, of course we do. We’re crying out for VAR to give more goals but this one feels really unfortunate for Spain in my point of view. I do feel sorry for the officials.

“It’s not VAR’s fault… it’s the rule. It’s been around for around 18 months this interpretation but I don’t feel we’ve seen enough examples of it in big games for it to be such a talking point but it’s certainly won a final today so it’ll become a talking point now for sure.

“You can see on Luis Enrique’s face how disappointed he is. Spain were so unlucky against Italy in the semi-finals at the Euros and again today. But there were so many positives as well.

“We’ve had years of waste-of-time friendlies that no one cares about. What are you learning? When you play against great players and put in brilliant young talent, it’s such a better spectacle.

“Both teams really wanted to win this tournament. It’s been a real success and I’ve enjoyed all the games at the finals. It feels like redemption for France after such a disappointing Euros.”

Source: Sky Sports

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