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M. Akanji

Man City star Akanji slams 'joke' decision to allow Fernandes goal in Manchester derby & claims 'pressure' got to referee

08:51 GMT 15/01/2023
Manuel Akanji Manchester City 2022-23
Manuel Akanji slammed Man Utd's "joke" first goal in Saturday's Manchester derby, also claiming that the referee was influenced by the home crowd.
  • Akanji slams Bruno's 'joke' goal
  • Claims home fans influenced referee's decision
  • United grab bragging rights in derby

WHAT HAPPENED? The Red Devils came back from behind to beat rivals Manchester City in the derby on Saturday. Jack Grealish netted the visitors' opener before Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford found the back of the net for Manchester United.

Fernandes' 78th-minute equaliser stoked controversy as Marcus Rashford was found running in an offside position while chasing Casemiro's through pass. While Rashford did not touch the ball and allowed the Portuguese to take the shot, Manuel Akanji, who was marking him, believed that the striker was interfering with play and thus the goal should not have stood.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking after the game, Akanji said, "The first goal is a joke that it’s allowed. Rashford is clearly offside. I understand he doesn’t touch the ball, but he runs for 30 metres chasing it and then he stops because Bruno is coming in behind him. The referee has to at least look at the situation. Probably the pressure got to him in the stadium, that’s why he decided to let it go."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Following their massive Manchester derby win Erik ten Hag's men now have 38 points from 18 matches, one point less than Pep Guardiola's side. They are also just six points shy of table-topping Arsenal - who they face next weekend.

IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR MANCHESTER CITY? The Cityzens will be desperate to get back to winning ways when they take on Tottenham this Thursday.