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Man City star Akanji claims Switzerland were 'provoked' in heated World Cup clash with Serbia

12:10 SAST 2022/12/03
Manuel Akanji of Switzerland
Swiss defender Manuel Akanji has claimed that his team-mates were constantly provoked by Serbia during their ill-tempered World Cup clash on Friday.
  • Swiss players provoked
  • Happy to knock Serbia out
  • Record 11 yellow cards shown

WHAT HAPPENED? The Manchester City defender claimed that the Serbs started provoking the Swiss players right from the beginning. Eleven yellow cards were shown during the course of the game, with Serbian players being booked seven times and Switzerland picking up four. The Swiss came back from behind to win 3-2 and book their berth in the World Cup knockout stage.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to GOAL and SPOX after the match, Akanji said: "The Serbs wanted to provoke us. They said a few things right from the start and then a few things came back. So I'm very, very happy that we won and they can now go on holiday."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: He added, "I stood on the halfway line, ran forward and tried to calm the players down. I said to my teammates: We're going to the round of 16, we can't get any stupid yellow or red cards. That only weakens us. They have nothing left to lose."

IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR SWITZERLAND? Switzerland next take on Portugal in the round of 16 on December 6.