Marco Silva has once again expressed his frustration over a controversial goal, as VAR failed to rule out Nathan Ake’s header. Last week, the Fulham manager was furious when officials allowed Eddie Nketiah’s goal to stand in the 2-2 draw against Arsenal. This time, Ake’s goal was allowed to stand despite Manuel Akanji being in an offside position. Akanji was obstructing Leno’s view, which impeded his ability to see the play. Silva was left seething that VAR didn’t disallow the goal. His animated protests earned him a yellow card, and he was lucky not to receive another booking in Saturday’s match against Manchester City.
It’s understandable that Silva reacted strongly against City, as VAR once again failed to disallow Ake’s header for offside. With the game tied at 1-1 just before halftime, Ake restored City’s lead with a well-placed header. However, replays clearly showed that Akanji, who was clearly offside, was blocking Leno’s view. Akanji didn’t touch the ball, as he knew he was offside, but his presence delayed Leno’s reaction to save the header. Despite the incident being reviewed by VAR, the goal was allowed to stand.
Silva’s protests on the touchline and the Fulham players’ reactions on the pitch were met with disbelief from football fans on social media. Many were stunned that the goal wasn’t disallowed, with one user stating, “VAR decision on the offside: Whatever City want.” Another user questioned how all the officials, both on-field and VAR, missed such a clear infringement, calling it a “blatant play on the ball by an offside player inhibiting the sight of the goalkeeper.”
The frustration with VAR and officiating in general was evident, with one fan suggesting that everyone involved in VAR should be fired and describing the officiating in the league as “atrocious.” Another supporter simply labeled VAR as “useless.”
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Throughout a momentous Premier League tie this weekend, Fulham hosted Manchester City with the Citizens looking to extend their run at the summit. However, the match proved to be a controversial one with Fulham boss Marco Silva livid at a seemingly incorrect VAR call.
In the 60th minute, Manchester City midfielder Ferran Torres had put the Champions 2-1 up. However, the aftermath of the goal saw mass confusion as a potential foul on Ola Aina was reviewed with replays suggesting the Spaniard had indeed fouled the defender before netting.
Despite the overwhelming evidence, the VAR refused to uphold the decision and allowed the goal to stand – much to the disgust of Fulham and Silva. After the match, Silva raged over the decision calling it ‘unacceptable’ before adding that replays ‘were clearly’ in Fulham’s favour.
Fulham fans were left stunned by the decision with many accusing the VAR of disregarding the facts – and taking away the points that the Whites, deservedly, earned. VAR has come under intense scrutiny this season with fans claiming that several incorrect decisions have unfairly cost teams vital points.
This latest incident has only served to further those claims with Silva adamant that the decision should have been overturned. Luckily for Fulham fans, Silva’s men fought till the very end despite being two goals down and secured an invaluable point in stoppage time.
Unfortunately for Silva, it did little to erase the wrong-doings of the VAR with the former Watford boss still angered by the decision. Regardless of his anger, this remarkable point looks to be a crucial one towards Fulham’s survival hopes this season.