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Pep Guardiola aims subtle dig at Oleksandr Zinchenko and Joao Cancelo after Man City win Premier League title

Chris Byfield

| Last updated 

Pep Guardiola aims subtle dig at Oleksandr Zinchenko and Joao Cancelo after Man City win Premier League title

Pep Guardiola directed a subtle dig at Arsenal’s Oleksandr Zinchenko and Bayern Munich loanee Joao Cancelo during Manchester City’s title celebrations.

Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest on Saturday confirmed City’s status as Premier League champions for the third time in succession.

The Gunners had been in a commanding position in the title race for the majority of the season, only to hand the advantage to City in April by going four games without a win.

Indeed, the Cityzens secured their fifth league title in six years under Guardiola, while they are on course for a historic campaign, having also booked their place in both the FA Cup and Champions League finals.


This term, Grealish has finally come to the fore in a City shirt, having increased his attacking and defensive output, particularly since returning from the World Cup

Elsewhere, Nathan Ake produced his best campaign since a £41million switch from Bournemouth in 2020.

And during City’s coronation on Sunday, Guardiola singled Ake for his performances at right-back throughout the season.



Guardiola’s subtle Zinchenko and Cancelo dig

In praising Ake, Guardiola appeared to be taking a dig at Zinchenko and Cancelo’s defensive frailties.

Zinchenko left City for Arsenal last summer after seven years at City playing predominantly as a left-back. Meanwhile, Cancelo, who was central to City’s success last term, abruptly left the club on loan in January, and will likely be sold in the summer.

On Ake’s form, Guardiola said: "He has been fundamental.


“I learned this season when you play against [Bukayo] Saka, Vinicius [Junior], [Gabriel] Martinelli and [Mohamed] Salah or [Sadio] Mane in the past, you need a proper defender to win duels one v one.

“Or, in the Champions League, at that level, they need one action to beat you and Nathan gave us that boost that I didn't have in the past.

“The biggest boost was having a proper defender and in the past, we didn't have it and Nathan, [Manuel] Akanji and [Kyle] Walker did it."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Football, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Premier League, Joao Cancelo, Manchester City, Pep Guardiola, Nathan Ake, Arsenal

Chris Byfield
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