‘He controlled him’: BBC pundit and Former Man City duo amazed by how Nathan Ake dealt with ‘in-form’ Arsenal star


Former Manchester City players and pundits were full of praise for Blues centre-back Nathan Ake after his Man of the Match performance against Arsenal on Friday night.

Pep Guardiola’s side secured a 1-0 victory over the Gunners in the FA Cup fourth round, with Dutch defender Ake scoring the only goal of the game in the second half. The 27-year-old started at left-back against Mikel Arteta’s men and impressed against the dangerous Bukayo Saka.

Ake has made 22 appearances for City so far this season, with 17 of those coming as a starter. His strong showing against Arsenal on Friday led to praise from several former players and pundits.

“He had a really good night against one of the most in-form players in the country at the minute, against Saka. I thought he controlled him really well. He’s so difficult to play against. He works his feet well. He’s patient, and he’s strong. And he looks to play out from the back,” BBC pundit Ashley Williams told The FA Cup.

“He’s not scared to be one v one with someone like Saka.”

Former Manchester City players Paul Dickov also lauded the Blues defender – suggesting that the Netherlands international was ‘magnificent’.

“Defensively he was fantastic on Friday. He was up against Bukayo Saka who is one of the best players in the Premier League,” he said on City’s Matchday Live show.

Dickov added: “Every time Nathan was on top of him pushing him back and pushing him back. The one occasion in the first half where Saka did face him up, Nathan didn’t panic. He held his ground and got in at the right time. He has been magnificent.”

Another City ex player Shaun Goater also praised Ake, stating: “He was brilliant how he played and in keeping Saka quiet. It was a real man-of-the-match performance. He was absolutely brilliant again on Friday and it was capped with that great finish.”

City travel to London to face Tottenham Hotspur in their next match, with Guardiola’s side desperate to keep pace with the Gunners at the top of the Premier League.

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