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Manuel Akanji praises three Man City players as he makes a vow after win over Brighton

Manuel Akanji praises three Man City players as he makes a vow after win over Brighton

Manuel Akanji was pleased with Manchester City’s 3-1 win over Brighton on Saturday, especially since a VAR decision went in City’s favor.

Manchester City came through a difficult match thanks to goals from Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne, with Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi playing with a directness and confidence that few teams do when they visit the Etihad.

City displayed quality and guts to secure the three points, which was critical given their loss to Liverpool the previous Saturday.

“It wasn’t easy today but in the end it’s the three points that matter,” Akanji told BBC Radio Manchester after the game. “We knew we had to get back with three points against Brighton. In the end we couldn’t keep the clean sheet but hopefully we’ll do it in the next game.”

Akanji was particularly impressed by Haaland, Bernardo Silva, and De Bruyne, all of whom contributed significantly to City’s goals.

Haaland scored his first goal after collecting a long ball from Ederson and barging past Brighton defender Adam Webster. 

Brighton wanted a foul, but Akanji believes the striker’s inherent strength is too much for most people to handle.

“[He’s] really strong, I think he’s one of the strongest players I went against. So you really have to stand tall against him. It’s not easy, but we can see game-by-game what he does to the opponents.

When asked if he felt remorseful for Brighton’s defenders, Akanji was clear: “No! He’s on my team, I hope he does this kind of thing to the other players, I’m happy he scored goals again today, he helped us a lot to get the win today.”

After the VAR requested that the referee review the pitchside monitor after Bernardo went down under contact, Haaland scored from the penalty spot. 

City had been wronged by two VAR calls in their previous two games, but things turned around on Saturday.

“He [Bernardo] got hit on the leg, I’m happy he scored, especially as they [VAR] took the goal away from us last week, and I saw that when Liverpool scored it was a handball.

“He’s [Bernardo] everywhere on the pitch, he runs everywhere. He’s so good on the ball and also against the ball, even though he’s really small but wins so many duels, he fears nobody, he goes into every duel. He also wins a lot of balls for us and he creates a lot of opportunities in the build-up and also up front, he got the penalty for us.”

De Bruyne then scored from 25 yards away, and Akanji had one of the greatest views in the stadium.

“We can see game-by-game, all the assists he gives, the impact he has on the games with the balls he plays, and also today the strike was a crazy goal. I was right behind him and I saw how the ball went into the goal. It was a brilliant shot and I’m really happy he scored [to make it] 3-1 for us.”

City will travel to Signal Iduna Park in the Champions League to face Borussia Dortmund, a venue familiar to both Akanji and Haaland. 

With the top spot in Group G up for grabs, Akanji is looking forward to the reunion.

“It’s a brilliant stadium to play in with the fans they have there, I’m not used to being on the other side, it’s my first time playing against Dortmund there but I’m looking forward to the game. First place in the group [is up for grabs], we want to go there and get the three points.”

Manuel Akanji praises three Man City players as he makes a vow after win over Brighton

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