By George Overhill

9th Jan, 2022 | 6:10pm

Mark Halsey confirms goal against Leeds United was offside

The first-half goal conceded by Leeds United in their FA Cup meeting with West Ham on Sunday should have been ruled offside says former-referee Mark Halsey.

Following a VAR review, West Ham took the lead in the 34th minute through Manuel Lanzini but there were questions over the involvement of Jarrod Bowen in the build up.

The English attacker appeared to be offside before he challenged Illan Meslier for the ball, as a penalty-box scramble finished with the ball in the back of the net.

Writing on Twitter in an instant reaction to the incident, the ex-Premier League and FIFA official wrote: “Being in an offside position is not an offence in itself”.

“(O)nce Bowen makes that initial movement towards the ball in doing so challenging an opponent coming from an offside position, he then becomes involved in active play and therefore should be given offside”.

No comfort for Leeds

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Questions were raised from all directions following the contentious decision to let the goal stand.

An ex-referee of the firm view that the ruling should have been offside holds particular weight.

While the chorus of complaints about VAR decisions in football have died down to an extent since the difficulties surrounding the system’s introduction, these sorts of situations show the limitations.

Ultimately decisions are still in the hands of human officials and those officials still often see things differently from the majority.

It will only add to the sense of injustice among Whites fans to seemingly have it confirmed by a referee that the goal should not have been awarded.

And the fact that it was Bowen who then went on to score the second in injury time will not have helped either.

Before that point, Jack Harrison and Daniel James were unlucky not to be able to react to chances quick enough to draw Leeds level on what was ultimately a disappointing day all round for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.

In other Leeds United news, one player rated 4/10 in rough outing at West Ham.