Michael Oliver would have ruled out Nathan Ake’s goal for Man City against Fulham if he had been sent to his screen, says Mail Sport’s refereeing expert CHRIS FOY

Man City were awarded a goal in their 5-1 win over Fulham on Saturday despite some calling for it to be ruled out for off-side.

Nathan Ake headed home his side’s second goal on the stroke of half-time, while Manuel Akanji jumped towards the ball from an offside position.

Akanji did not touch the ball, but may have affected Fulham keeper Bernd Leno’s ability to save the shot as he was stood directly in front of the German stopper.

It came at a crucial point in the game, with City taking the momentum at a time when the game was fairly even. 

Mail Sport’s CHRIS FOY, an ex-Premier League referee and PGMOL representative, explains how the decision was made, and what should have happened. 

Nathan Ake’s goal against Fulham on Saturday came while Manuel Akanji stood in front of keeper Bernd Leno in an off-side position

The goal stood, and City went on to continue their 100 per cent record with a 5-1 win

The goal stood, and City went on to continue their 100 per cent record with a 5-1 win


Manchester City’s Nathan Ake heads the ball towards the Fulham goal where his team-mate Manuel Akanji, who is standing in an offside position, jumps and the ball goes in, beating keeper Bernd Leno.

Akanji does not make contact with the ball and, as we know, being in an offside position by itself is not an offence. So Tony Harrington, who was on VAR duty, will have looked at the goal and had to decide if Akanji became involved in active play. If he was, then because he was in an offside position he should have been penalised.

The VAR felt Akanji did not directly impact the keeper as he dives across his line, because he does not obstruct the Fulham player’s line of vision. And because it’s a subjective call, he decided not to recommend a review to the on-field referee, Michael Oliver.

Had Michael been advised to go to the screen I am fairly confident he would have disallowed the goal for offside, which I think would have been the fair decision.


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