‘Physically dominant’ – Pundit hails performance of Man City man after Sevilla win


Nedum Onuoha has heaped praise on deadline day signing Manuel Akanji after a ‘physically dominant’ debut for Manchester City in their 4-0 win over Sevilla in Tuesday’s Champions League opener.

The 27-year-old defender completed his switch to City just six days ago from Borussia Dortmund, our second arrival of the summer from the German club after securing the services of talisman Erling Haaland.

Starting alongside Ruben Dias in central defence, the Swiss defender had an impressive debut, as City beat Sevilla 4-0 in their opening Group G match.

The Swiss defender had an excellent outing, pulling on previous Champions League experience to produce an astute display

Akanji had 86 touches of the ball in an assured display at the back, whilst also playing two key passes in the 90 minutes.

He was calm with the ball, and saved City with two or three great interceptions. He should fit seamlessly into this side on this showing, and looks a bargain already at £15m.

Onuoha hailed Akanji’s performance on City TV’s Matchday Live, saying: “Manuel Akanji physically was very dominant and very good on the ball as well and he made it so difficult for their attackers.

“He wanted to have an impact on the game. Whoever he was up against, they knew he was right behind them, and attackers don’t like it when you put them under pressure even when the game is done.

“He reminded me of Vincent Kompany in that respect of (staying tight to opposition forwards). It’s a very similar trait. It was a very, very good debut, and you could see that he’s played in the Champions League before.”

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was also full of praise for Akanji, following Tuesday’s Champions League Group Stage victory.

“A really good central defender that Man City bought. He did really well, his focus, attention. I see a quality quite similar to Aymer [Laporte], can break the lines with a pass. He read spaces really well. Very pleased for him,” said the City manager.

Akanji made over 100 Bundesliga appearances for Borussia Dortmund, and could come up against his former club next week.

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