In his team’s 5-1 fall to Manchester City on Saturday, Fulham manager Marco Silva blasted the referees for allowing the second goal, and Erling Haaland said that he would have been “furious” as well.
In what had been a hotly contested Premier League game, Manuel Akanji’s offside header rebounded past him and into the net to give City the lead again shortly before halftime. However, referee Michael Oliver and VAR Tony Harrington determined that Akanji had not interfered with the play.
At the Etihad Stadium, Fulham lost steam in the second half, although Silva seemed to think Ake’s goal was the game-changer. Everyone who plays football and has a basic understanding of the rules would be certain that the goal should be ruled invalid by the VAR, he claimed.
“The more often you witness something, the more you understand that it must be forbidden. The player moved towards the goal while pulling away from the ball’s line of travel. It was offside. The VAR can’t possibly miss seeing it.”
Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno was in charge of the on-field demonstrations, but TV replays showed that he didn’t begin moving to make a save until the ball had passed Akanji.
Haaland said “That was offside” in a post-full-time interview with beIN SPORTS. “I would also be furious about this, too. The feeling must be awful for them.”
Silva will have to deal with other issues this weekend in addition to City’s second goal. He must figure out how to best reintegrate star player Palhinha into his team.
On Friday, the Portuguese player believed he would complete his dream transfer to Bayern Munich. The 28-year-old travelled to Germany, went through the necessary paperwork, posed for photos wearing the illustrious Bayern Munich jersey, and conducted an in-house interview before being informed that the transaction had to be broken because Fulham was unable to find a suitable substitute for him.
“It was one of the hardest days of his life for him,” Silva remarked. “He enjoys spending time with us, but going to one of the largest clubs in the world was a great opportunity. Nobody can feel his current emotions. He will require all of the support from our supporters and his teammates.”