How I used Akanji to mark out Saka – Guardiola

Pep Guardiola

Manchester City’s manager, Pep Guardiola says he played Manuel Akanji at left back just to mark out Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka.

Speaking to BBC Sport after the match, Guardiola said Akanji did a great job.

“It was so difficult to decide. When I saw Akanji play against Coman and Sane [against Bayern Munich] and how defensively strong he was one on one, I decided. Saka is an incredible threat. We needed someone one on one, Manu winning duels,” he said.

He added that his side played a really good game, saying that “concentration, set pieces, defensively, how aggressive we were. We started really well. Considering the opponents we faced, it was a fantastic performance.

“Kevin de Bruyne is a special player. We expected high pressing and we could run with Erling, he’s an incredible threat.”

On tiredness, he said “Winning helps. Being in the Champions League semis and FA Cup final helps a lot with the tiredness. They are two points in front of us so we’re still not top.

“You have to win the games in hand. We cannot lose our focus. Now it’s in our hands. When it’s in our hands we have to use it.”

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