Fans have been offered a glimpse of the heated VAR offside debate that followed Nathan Ake’s goal for Manchester City against Fulham on Saturday.
- Akanji seemingly interfered with play
- Ake goal stood
- Chaotic VAR debate
WHAT HAPPENED? A social media post from Football Daily showed the behind-the-scenes recording of VAR officials debating whether the offside Akanji had interfered with play.
“There’s potential impact on the keeper, but is he clearly impacting the keeper?” was the question asked by one official, who alongside his colleagues ultimately allowed the goal to stand.
However, in the aftermath of the match PGMOL’s Chief Refereeing Officer Howard Webb said: “I think this should have been disallowed. It certainly appears that Akanji has an impact on Bernd Leno, the goalkeeper, who seems to hesitate.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: It’s one of a number of refereeing decisions that Webb has later expressed regret about this season. And beyond the decision itself, fans have been surprised by the level of chaos the video appeared to capture. The debates between VAR officials seem frenzied and loud, unlike the type of calm, level-headed reflection many supporters are searching for from video assistant refereeing.
WHAT NEXT FOR MAN CITY? Regardless of conduct from officials, there’s not much that can stop Pep Guardiola’s relentless City side. This VAR decision ultimately had little bearing on Saturday’s final result – a 5-1 win for City – as they continue to churn out results despite their manager’s absence due to back injury. The Catalan coach is likely to be back on the sidelines following the international break, when they head to London to face West Ham.
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