Man City star accuses Arsenal of playing dirty and left frustrated by Anthony Taylor | Football | Sport

Despite the lack of goalmouth action, the intensity of the clash was all too apparent with players involved in some feisty exchanges. And Akanji has argued that Taylor failed to properly punish the away side for a series of fouls.

He said: “One (foul) in the first half (from Kai Havertz) was a very late tackle on Stefan (Ortega). For me it is clearly a yellow card. There are some rules, and I think there are clear yellow cards where it should be.

“I remember the action with Jorginho when he’d already already done a tackle foul, and did the second one, and he (Taylor) didn’t even give a yellow card for one foul. I didn’t understand some decisions.”

Akanji, 28, also accused the Gunners of setting up negatively in a bid to blunt City’s attack. Indeed, home striker Erling Haaland cut a frustrated figure for much of the afternoon, closely marked by Gabriel Magalhaes.

The City defender added: “They played a lot of long balls and defended with six players in the back, so it was difficult to get through. When we got through, sometimes they stopped us with the fouls – and if there’s no actions to it, it’s hard.”

Only Arsenal keeper David Raya and forward Gabriel Jesus saw yellow during the 90 minutes, but despite his team holding firm, Mikel Arteta was criticised by pundits for his side’s lack of ambition in attack. But afterwards, the Spaniard defended his tactics, despite conceding his team didn’t make the most of their opportunities when in possession.

“We are improving, we are competing better and we are understanding how to compete in these games,” he said. “There’s another step to make to win championships and that’s that you have to win.

“Today we were able to draw and we have to improve a lot still to win. The downside is that we had some situations to score. We didn’t make the most out of it. I think the next step is to have the composure with the ball.”

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