Fulham boss Marco Silva condemns match officials as Erling Haaland says he would also be ‘fuming’2 September 2023
Fulham boss Marco Silva condemned the match officials for allowing Manchester City's second goal in their 5-1 loss on Saturday as Erling Haaland admitted he would also have been "fuming" at the decision.
Referee Michael Oliver and VAR Tony Harrington decided that an offside Manuel Akanji had not interfered with play when Nathan Ake's header bounced past him and into the net to put City back ahead just before half-time in what had been a closely-fought Premier League contest.
Fulham subsided in the second period at Etihad Stadium but Silva evidently felt the turning point was Ake's goal.
"Everyone that plays football and has some knowledge of the game would be 100% sure [the VAR] has to disallow the goal," he said.
"The more times you see that, the more you know it has to be disallowed.
"The player pulled away from the line of the ball and into the direction of goal. It is a clear offside. It is impossible for the VAR not to see it."
Fulham keeper Bernd Leno led the on-pitch protests and TV replays indicated he didn't start to move to make a save until the ball passed Akanji.
"It was offside," admitted Haaland in an interview with beIN SPORTS after full-time. "I feel bad for them - I would be fuming after this as well. It must be a horrible feeling."
The only minor consolation for Silva was that he avoided a fourth yellow card in four games, even though he spent a sustained period unloading his views on fourth official Michael Salisbury as the opening half drew to a close.
Silva's Palhinha problem
City's second goal is not the only problem Silva has to contend with this weekend. He also has to work out the best way to reintegrate star man Palhinha into his squad.
The Portuguese thought he was going to complete a dream move to Bayern Munich on Friday.
The 28-year-old travelled to Germany, completed his medical, posed for pictures in the famous Bayern shirt and gave an in-house interview, only to be told Fulham's inability to secure a replacement meant the deal had to be scrapped.
"It was a tough day for him, one of the toughest days of his life," said Silva.
"He loves to be with us but that was a big chance to go to one of the biggest clubs in the world. Nobody can tell what he is feeling right now.
"He is going to need all the support from our fans and his team-mates."
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