Akanji was one of a few names suggested by Pep Guardiola as capable of playing the John Stones role moving between defence and midfield with the England international suffering a recurrence of his hip injury in midweek. With Nathan Ake also sidelined in training days before the game, Akanji was the prime candidate to step in at Stamford Bridge and did just that.
It was an accomplished performance overall from Akanji on a difficult day for the defence that saw Raheem Sterling and Cole Palmer impress against their former club. However, the Swiss international admitted after the game that he felt better after the break when changes made by Guardiola meant that he was more often located at the back than in the middle.
We changed it a little bit we built up with the back four, I dropped deeper, and I felt better in there. We had a little bit more control, but it was still pretty wild,” he said.