Manuel Akanji Alleges Arsenal Employed Tactical Fouling in Manchester City Draw

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Manuel Akanji has voiced his concerns about Arsenal’s use of fouls to disrupt Manchester City’s rhythm in Sunday’s goalless draw, questioning the leniency of referee Anthony Taylor towards such tactics.

Following the stalemate at the Etihad, Liverpool holds a narrow two-point lead over Arsenal at the league’s summit, with City trailing by a further point with nine games remaining. Mikel Arteta’s side adopted a defensive stance with notable aggression, prompting Akanji to reflect on their methods.

When asked if he felt Arsenal’s defensive approach bordered on illegality, Akanji responded assertively, stating, “Definitely. When we managed to break through, they resorted to fouls to halt our momentum. It’s frustrating when such actions go unpunished.”

Akanji expressed bewilderment at Taylor’s failure to intervene more decisively. “I don’t understand it. There was a particularly late tackle on Stefan [Ortega] in the first half,” he remarked, citing Kai Havertz’s challenge on City’s goalkeeper. “It was a clear yellow card in my view. It’s not just about decisions favoring us; there were instances where I questioned why fouls against them weren’t penalized.”

Manuel Akanji
Manuel Akanji (Credits: 90Min)

Reflecting on the broader refereeing standards, Akanji emphasized the need for consistency. “There are clear instances where yellow cards should be issued. I recall a situation with Jorginho where he committed consecutive fouls without receiving a booking. It’s perplexing,” he added. Despite the officiating, Akanji maintained City’s responsibility to capitalize on opportunities. “Regardless of decisions, we should still have been able to find the net,” he asserted.

While City’s pursuit of a historic fourth consecutive title hangs in the balance, Akanji remains optimistic. “We have nine games remaining, so there are 27 points up for grabs. Our objective is to secure all of them,” he affirmed. The Swiss international highlighted upcoming fixtures in various competitions, including a crucial Champions League quarter-final clash against Real Madrid. “There’s plenty to play for. We’re still in contention on multiple fronts,” he noted.

Looking ahead to Aston Villa’s visit, Akanji acknowledged the importance of rectifying previous shortcomings. “Since our defeat to Villa, a considerable amount of time has passed. Both teams are in different positions now,” he observed. Akanji emphasized City’s need to capitalize on home advantage and deliver an improved performance. “We aim for a dominant display, unlike our previous encounter. Villa deserved their victory then, but we’re determined to secure maximum points this time,” he concluded.

Amidst discussions about the team’s attacking options, Akanji welcomed the competition provided by Jérémy Doku and Jack Grealish. “Ultimately, it’s not my decision who starts upfront,” he remarked. “Everyone is vying for a place in the lineup, striving to contribute positively and secure victory in our upcoming fixtures.”


By Brian Anderson

Hi myself Brian, I am a second-year student at Symbiosis Centre of Management Studies, Noida, pursuing a BBA degree. I am a multi-faceted individual with a passion for various hobbies, including cricket, football, music, and sketching. Beyond my hobbies, I possess a keen interest in literature, particularly fictional books, and channels my creativity into content writing. I am constantly exploring the realms of both business administration and the world of imagination through my diverse pursuits.

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