Patricio injury highlights huge flaw with VAR offside rule

There was major concern in the 85th minute of Liverpool‘s 1-0 victory over Wolves on Monday night when Wolves ‘keeper Rui Patricio suffered a serious head injury.

The 32-year-old collided with his side’s captain Conor Coady and was treated on the pitch for 15 minutes before being stretchered off.

Thankfully, Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo confirmed after the game that doctors had told him Patricio is “going to be ok“.

Debates over offside law

The Portuguese goalkeeper’s injury occurred as Mohamed Salah put the ball into the back of net for what he thought was Liverpool’s second goal. The assistant referee then raised his flag for offside once the move was complete.

The injury suffered by Patricio reignited debate over the new offside laws, which were introduced by the Premier League at the start of this season.

The law says that if there is a potential goalscoring opportunity likely to occur, the assistant referee should keep their flag down, if they think an offside offence has been committed, until the passage of play has been completed.

The idea behind this is to allow each attacking move to be completed in its entirety before the assistant raises the flag. VAR then checks for any potential offside.

Whilst the law does help in terms of avoiding initial offside errors during play, it also creates an extra period of time for incidents or injuries to occur.

And many football fans made their frustrations with the law known following Patricio’s injury:

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp added himself that the law needs to be looked at.

Speaking after the game, he explained: “I think the whole [offside law] needs to be looked at, but I don’t think this situation, from what I saw – and I didn’t see it back – it was not like miles offside or the clearest offside in the world.

“So I really think for that [injury], we cannot change this situation, as unlucky and awful as it was, yes.

“But there are obviously situations in the game when everyone sees that it is offside.”

Klopp’s side went on to win the game 1-0, thanks to Diogo Jota’s first-half strike. Jota scored 33 goals over three seasons with Wolves.

Featured Image Credit: Getty