While watching the Liverpool vs Manchester United Premier League game in January 2020, I got confused on the offside rule when Salah scored a goal.

Salah was well offside when Allison passed the ball to him. I'm confused as to how that is not an offside. I thought it won't be offside when goalkeeper passes the ball only when it's a goal kick, but it wasn't a goal kick, Allison got the ball in open play after deflecting from one of the Manchester players.

  • "Allison got the ball in open play after deflecting from one of the Manchester players." - This question claims otherwise.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 10:45
  • The other question is factually wrong in at least one point (obviously no whistle, but referee may be signalling advantage or only giving thumbs-up to AR for good flag). Alisson definitely received the ball in open play, whether it deflected from the opponent or was straight through to Alisson doesn't matter after that. @F1Krazy
    – Nij
    Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 11:21
  • @Nij I didn't watch the match, so I couldn't tell which question was wrong, only that they couldn't both be correct.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 11:27
  • They're both wrong in stating of a specific fact that, when corrected or explained, supports the referee's decision fully but will create a contradiction in the asker's mind otherwise. @F1Krazy whether it was touched by the attacker is immaterial to the key misconception in each question (here: Salah offside, there: play stopped).
    – Nij
    Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 11:31

2 Answers 2


Salah was not offside.

Salah is several metres into his own half at the moment the ball is played by his team-mate, and therefore he is the exact opposite of "well offside when Alisson passed the ball".

It does not matter that he entered the opponent's half before the ball, or that he was nearer to the opponent's goal-line than the second-to-last defender and the ball when he received it.

See Law 11 in IFAB Laws Of The Game for the exact statement of offside position and offside offence.


Looking at the Alisson Becker's pass to Mo Salah here you can see that Salah receives it in Liverpool's own half. We don't have a clear shot of where Salah was at the time of the pass, but given his distance from midfield and the direction he's running, it's clear that he was in Liverpool's half at the time of pass.

Offside can only happen when the offensive player is in the other team's half. See this Sports SE question for more info on when a play is an offside.

  • 1
    On the link you provided I got "the uploader has not made the youtube video unavailable in your country". Here is the highlights video from the official youtube channel of FC Liverpool: youtu.be/LDJbcWJI2UA?t=74 - perhaps it could work for users who cannot see the one from your link.
    – Martin
    Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 5:40
  • 1
    Thanks for the heads up @Martin. I've updated the video link to use yours as it should be available everywhere
    – alamoot
    Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 5:44

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