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Rodgers: Benteke Goal Correctly Called Onside

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Despite nearly universal agreement to the contrary, Brendan Rodgers defended the linesman's controversial call to uphold Benteke's goal. Because of course he did.

"Offside? Nope, never."
"Offside? Nope, never."
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Most fans, even most Liverpool fans, can agree that Christian Benteke's goal against Bournemouth shouldn't have stood. Philippe Coutinho was offside by a nontrivial distance of several feet, became involved in the play by making an attempt on the ball, and by any modern interpretation of the offside rule, that's a no-no.

The call (or lack of one) was so egregious that the FA, an organization not necessarily known for admitting fault, even had to release a statement saying essentially, "Oops. Our Bad."

So, naturally Brendan Rodgers spoke about the decision in his pre-match press conference, and came to the completely opposite conclusion:

"For me, the linesman has made an excellent decision in terms of he's assessed very quickly that there might have been an attempt but there's no way Philippe Coutinho is going to get the ball.

"You can see he's in an offside position, of course. The ball gets whipped in, it's going outwards towards the back post and the goalkeeper has made a slight movement. But I don't think the movement has affected him."

Right. I see.

The above statement does not bode well for Liverpool supporters who fear our manager is watching a different game from the rest of us.

There are times when managers cannot be blamed for their natural biases, or their desire to defend their players, but this surely is not one of them.

Regardless, Rodgers made a point to also praise the players for creating a set piece "goal," which were in short supply last campaign:

"Firstly, from a coaching perspective we look at the goal and we were happy with our short corner which worked well in terms of how we wanted to create the corner to allow Christian to score.

"Christian has timed his run perfectly, it's a great ball in and his athleticism to get up and make the finish is first class to get him his goal. He was the goalscorer and absolutely at no point in the move was he offside."

Thank you, Brendan, for clearing up the debate no one was having over whether Benteke was offside.