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English Premier League out with new offside rule

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The start of the new English season brings a tweak to football’s offside rule – one that could result in quite a few goals being disallowed.

According to the rule, if a player has a shot at goal and a team-mate in an offside position makes a play for the ball – even if they don’t touch it – the goal will now be disallowed.

The new guidelines passed down to officials at all levels state: “A player in an offside position shall be penalised if he makes an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball.”

It means players who stand in an offside position and move towards a shot or pass and make a move as though they intend to touch the ball will be penalised.

Before, a player in an offside position would have to have touched the ball to be penalised.

One high-profile example came in February this year when Juan Mata’s free-kick curled straight in during Manchester United’s match with Stoke City at Old Trafford.

Marcos Rojo, in an offside position inside the box, attempted to head the cross but missed. Nobody else made contact and Mata’s ball went straight in, and the goal was counted.

Under the rule change, the goal would not be allowed.

Officials believe the new rule will simplify the situation and dissuade players from lingering around in an offside position knowing they would not be considered to be actively involved in play.

However, the goal would still stand if a player has consciously stepped out of the way of the ball to allow the flow of play to continue.

For example, Harry Kane scored for Tottenham in a home match with Burnley in December last season following a move that began with an offside Christian Eriksen stepping out of the way of a Spurs free-kick out wide.

Another Spurs player ran onto the ball and crossed for Kane to head home. The goal was awarded and still would be because Eriksen made no move towards the travelling ball and so it didn’t affect the opponent.

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EPL: Do us favour when Aston Villa face Man City – Liverpool’s Henderson begs Steven Gerrard

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Liverpool captain, Jordan Henderson has jokingly admitted he might give the club’s legend, Steven Gerrard, a call to do his side a favour against Manchester City.

Liverpool head into the final day of the Premier League season on May 22, trailing Man City by just a point in the title race.

It means Liverpool, who must win against Wolves on Sunday, need Manchester City to either draw or lose against Gerrard’s Aston Villa in order to bring the Premier League title to Anfield.

And Henderson certainly hopes so, as he spoke after his side’s impressive 2-1 comeback victory over Southampton on Tuesday night.

Speaking with reporters during his post-match press conference, the England midfielder said: “I think the cup final at the weekend gave us a bit of a boost. Some of the lads have had knocks and bruises, but we have used the whole squad to get fresh legs on the pitch. Hopefully, the lads rest up for Sunday.”

“It is hard to focus on the game when you can hear what is going on, but we need to focus on our own game.”

Henderson then jokingly said, “I might give Stevie a call this week. Hopefully, he can do us a favour!”

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Details of Jose Peseiro’s contract as new Super Eagles head coach revealed

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), on Sunday, confirmed Jose Peseiro as the new head coach of the national team.

However, according to OwnGoalNigeria, Peseiro has been handed only a one-year contract to take charge of the Super Eagles.

The 12-month deal is subject to renewal based on performance-related clauses.

It is understood the NFF has given Peseiro a short-term contract, because of their legal battle on payments with former Nigeria coach, Gernot Rohr.

FIFA has already ordered the federation to pay Rohr the sum of $380,000 as compensation for breach of contract.

Peseiro’s first matches in charge will be the friendlies against Ecuador and Mexico in the US.

The games will be followed by the qualifiers for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations.

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EPL: We’ll give our lives to be champions of England — Guardiola warns Aston Villa

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Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola has warned Aston Villa that his team will give their lives to become England champions this weekend.

Guardiola gave the warning after Man City played a 2-2 draw against West Ham United on Sunday.

Guardiola’s men are currently four points clear of Liverpool, who can narrow the gap to one point when they face Southampton on Tuesday.

Man City will host Aston Villa and Liverpool will host Wolves on the final day of the campaign this weekend.

“Our stadium will be sold out, we will give them our lives and they will give theirs, all together,” Guardiola said at his post-match press conference after Man City’s draw with West Ham.

“To do it is an incredible privilege, after many years.

“To have our chance with our people, to win one game to be champions. I’m looking forward to it.”

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