‘Obvious’ – How Man City benefitted from VAR blunder in Premier League win over Fulham

Ake headed City into a 2-1 lead against Fulham in the weekend Premier League clash but Manuel Akanji was standing in an offside position. Fulham complained he was obstructing goalkeeper Bernd Leno, who seemed to hesitate before diving in case the ball flicked off the City man.

But referee Michael Oliver awarded the goal and VAR Tony Harrington confirmed the call with help from his assistant Adam Nunn. Fulham boss Marco Silva was angry with the decision while City striker Erling Haaland, who went on to score a hat-trick as the Blues won 5-1, said he thought the goal should have been ruled out.

And Webb admitted the decision was wrong. Speaking on Match Officials Micd Up on Sky Sports on Tuesday, which showed some of the key VAR decisions that have been made in the opening month of the top flight, he said: From the outset, I want to say this should have been disallowed.

These are not always easy to call because you are trying to get two pieces of information together. Is the player in an offside position, which official is in a good position to see, and what consequence was there of the player being in that position and how it impacts the opponents?

It certainly appears that Akanji has an impact on Bernd Leno, the goalkeeper seems to hesitate. The officials on the field gave the goal, they did not see the obvious action that impacted Lenos ability to play the ball.

They did not feel it was clearly impactful on Lenos ability to play the ball but when you see it, you can see that hesitation by the goalkeeper who was waiting to see whether the ball made contact with Akanji, which would have deflected the ball.

Unfortunately it was not identified on the day and the learning from this will be shared from all of our group because we are looking to do better each and every week and this was an error.

The audio between VAR officials Harrington and Nunn was played on the programme, providing insight into the decision-making process.

Harrington: “Checking the goal, checking the goal. He&aposs [Akanji] definitely in an offside position. Has he made an obvious action to impact on the ability of the goalkeeper? He&aposs moving out of the way of the ball.”

Nunn: “In my opinion, he makes a full-length save. For me, it&aposs subjective, there&aposs potential impact on the &aposkeeper, but does it clearly impact the &aposkeeper? I think the &aposkeeper sees the ball the whole way.”

Harrington: “So the &aposkeeper sees it, there&aposs no difference, we&aposre happy. Check complete?”

Nunn: “Personally, I&aposm happy for check complete.”

Harrington: “OK, check complete, check complete.”