Referees’ chief Howard Webb has admitted that Manchester City’s second goal in their 5-1 win over Fulham on Saturday should not have stood.

Nathan Aké’s goal, in the fifth minute of first-half added time, put City 2-1 up at Etihad Stadium. The defender’s header from 15 yards out bounced off the turf and into the bottom corner past Bernd Leno, but City’s Manuel Akanji — who jumped out of the way as the effort went towards goal — appeared to be in the Fulham goalkeeper’s eyeline.

The on-field referee, Michael Oliver, awarded a goal and despite replays suggesting that Akanji was interfering with play, the VAR, Tony Harrington, upheld the original decision.

Webb — the head of Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the body responsible for English referees — was speaking on Mic’d Up , a new programme that seeks to increase the transparency between match officials and spectators by broadcasting discussions between referees. Harrington is heard to tell Oliver that Akanji jumps out of the way of the ball and that Leno has a clear view, but Webb insisted that it should have been disallowed.

“It’s a clear situation of offside,” he said. “From the outset I think this should have been disallowed. It certainly appears Akanji has an impact on the goalkeeper, who seems to hesitate. This was an error.”

Fulham’s players protested against the decision when the goal was given, as Akanji’s movement appeared to cause Leno to hesitate before he attempted to dive for the ball. Marco Silva, their head coach, was furious at the decision.

“That moment made a huge impact,” Silva said after the game. “Everyone that plays football, has some knowledge about football, are 100 per cent sure they have to disallow that. It’s impossible to not. It’s a clear offside — it concerns us how that goal was not disallowed.

“The more times you see that moment, the more sure you are to disallow it. Our players saw it, everyone on the pitch at that moment has the same opinion.”

The incident was not the only mistake that Webb acknowledged; he admitted that the decision not to award a penalty for a foul by the Manchester United goalkeeper, André Onana, on Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Sasa Kalajdzic in the opening round of matches was “clearly wrong.”

Both the on-field referee, Simon Hooper, and VAR, Michael Salisbury, believed that Onana’s contact with Kalajdzic in added time during United’s 1-0 win at Old Trafford on August 14 was a “natural collision” between the players. Webb had already apologised to Wolves after the match for the mistake.

Webb also reviewed several other incidents, including the overturned penalty decision for Kai Havertz in Arsenal’s 3-1 win against Manchester United; Virgil van Dijk’s red card in Liverpool’s game with Newcastle United; Anass Zaroury’s foul on Kyle Walker in Burnley’s opening fixture with Manchester City; and John Egan’s handball in City’s match with Sheffield United. Webb agreed with all the verdicts reached by the officials in those instances.