Early Doors

The most ludicrous offside goal you could ever hope to see

Take a quick look at the picture above.

It's a screen grab from Wednesday's Champions League clash between Basel and Schalke.

But it might as well be an illustration from Noddy's Guide to the Rules of Football demonstrating the rules of offside.

Or perhaps even an illustration from Being a Linesman for Dummies. We've added a little red circle here for emphasis, but as you can see the match official could genuinely not have been better-placed to make this call, nor could he have been staring more obviously in the correct spot.

Yet incredibly, quite incredibly, the flag stayed down. The ball ended up with Schalke's Joel Matip, who scored what was the second of the match for the German club.

At 2-0 up, Schalke then had the luxury of closing the game down for the final half hour to earn a spot in the Champions League last-16 at Basel's expense.

Basel had only needed a draw, and trailing 1-0 with 33 minutes left they were still in with a great chance of making the knockout phase. Unfortunately, it just was not to be.

For the Swiss side it was a bitter end to an otherwise superb campaign in which they enjoyed two famous wins over Chelsea - but they can console themselves with the thought that they will at least go down in history as being the victims of one of the worse crimes against match officiating since Graham Poll gave a player three yellow cards in a World Cup match.

Even the goalscorer himself was staggered that the goal was allowed to stand.

"I was watching the linesman with one eye and I was suprised that the referee did not whistle," said Matip.

"We knew what was at stake. This victory was also for our coach [Jens Keller]. It is a difficult time for him right now. We want to continue working hard and try to be more consistent with our performances."

Keller himself was in equal parts amazed and delighted, while Basel's Murat Yakin said it all: "For officials to miss an offside like that in a top level match is not acceptable."