John Hartson makes bizarre offside claim after Fashion Sakala helps Rangers beat Celtic
Ex-Celtic man John Hartson has made a bizarre claim that Calvin Bassey’s hand was offside for the winning goal as Rangers defeated Celtic in the Scottish Cup.
Bassey latched on to a pass from Ryan Kent deep into extra-time before crossing for Fashion Sakala to divert into the goal as Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side progressed to the cup final and denied Celtic’s treble hopes.
But there was controversy as Celtic fans claimed Bassey was offside, and while replays proved inconclusive Hartson told Premier Sports that he felt the Nigerian’s hand was offside – meaning he would be onside.
“The thing is whether it’s off or on, his left hand looks a bit offside, but you could also say it’s a nicely weighted ball,” he said.
“You know what, we are clutching at straws really aren’t we. Rangers have gone to the final. These are the good calls you need from the linesman and referee. You need that bit of luck in these games.”
Michael Stewart also felt Bassey was ‘marginally offside’ via his knee, while Kevin Thompson said it was ‘more onside that offside.’
The decision was tight and blaming the referee is incredibly harsh without the help of technology on his side, but Hartson is absolutely waffling with this one.
Apart from the fact you can’t be offside with your hand as you can’t play the ball with that part of your body, his knee is quite clearly ahead of his hand anyway.
Whether it was offside or onside we’ll now never really know, but you can’t take away the fact that Rangers absolutely deserved their win as the better side for all but 15 minutes of the 120.
Bassey was incredible playing at both centre-back and left-back later on, posing a constant threat on the overlap and being reliable defensively in one-on-one situations too.
It was a huge win in the landscape of the season for Rangers, with a cup double now firmly on the horizon and all the bad feeling of the title race evaporated because of this result.
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