Referees' chief Webb admits VAR was WRONG to allow Man City goal

Referees’ chief Howard Webb admits Manchester City’s second goal against Fulham should NOT have stood as he says VAR made an ‘error’

  • Nathan Ake put Manchester City in front on their way to a 5-1 win over Fulham 
  • A VAR review allowed the goal but Howard Webb admitted the call was wrong
  • Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast It’s All Kicking Off 

Referees’ chief Howard Webb admitted Nathan Ake’s goal against Fulham should have been disallowed for offside in their 5-1 victory on Saturday.

Ake’s header regained City’s lead to put them 2-1 up on the stroke of half-time but Fulham complained about Manuel Akanji being stood in an offside position and appeared to affect Bernd Leno in the goal.

After a VAR review of the incident, the goal was given and City went on to win the match comfortably by four goals.

Following the game, Erling Haaland – who scored a hat-trick – said he thought the goal should have been ruled out for offside, while Fulham boss Marco Silva also continued his complaints and said it should have been ‘impossible’ to allow the goal to stand.

The Premier League aired an episode of ‘Match Officials Mic’d Up’ on Sky Sports on Tuesday, showing viewers some VAR decisions that have been made through the early part of the season.

Referees’ chief Howard Webb said Nathan Ake’s goal against Fulham should not have counted

Ake scored City’s second goal despite Manuel Akanji standing in an offside position (above)

A detailed breakdown of the conversation between VAR and the referee has been released

On the show, Professional Game Match Officials Limited chief Webb admitted the officials got the decision wrong with Ake’s goal and that it should have been ruled out for offside.

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 Leno’s ability to play the ball.

‘They did not feel it was clearly impactful on Leno’s 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.’

Webb, speaking on Sky Sports’ ‘Match Officials Mic’d Up’, conceded VAR made a costly error

Marco Silva was left incensed by the decision, raging it was ‘impossible’ for the goal to stand


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