GUNN TOO FAR FOOTBALL fans have accused Manchester City’s stars of “bullying” Oleksandr Zinchenko.
The Arsenal man returned to the Etihad for the first time on Friday night following his £30million summer move to the Emirates.
Kyle Walker was pictured grabbing Oleksandr Zinchenko’s ear
Manchester City’s stars crowded around the Arsenal man after the final whistle
Walker got up close and personal to his former team-mate
Zinchenko claimed on social media after the game that he “will always be glad to see” his former team-mates.
Jack Grealish was seen with a comforting hand on Zinchenko’s neck
Zinchenko, 26, came off the bench for the final 24 minutes as his side crashed out of the FA Cup 1-0.
And City’s stars approached their former team-mate after the final whistle.
Zinchenko won four Premier League titles, four EFL Cups and an FA Cup during his six years at the Etihad and was given a a standing ovation from City fans when he came on.
But Pep Guardiola’s players got up close and personal to him after the final whistle.
They crowded around Zinchenko, with Kyle Walker yanking on the Ukrainian’s ear and slapping his arm.
Walker also manhandled Zinchenko by lifting him up in a bear hug and dropping him to the floor, seemingly leaving the defender in some pain.
Ilkay Gundogan then appeared to cheekily slap him in the face.
Zinchenko seemed riled after speaking to Riyad Mahrez, while Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo were seen laughing in his face.
Things appeared to end amicably when Zinchenko gave Walker his shirt before they hugged and walked down the tunnel.
But social media users suggested Zinchenko was being “bullied” by his old team-mates.
One account wrote: “City bullied Zinchenko like their little brother.”
Another said: “It’s being bullied, but it’s affection of old mates.”
A third wrote: “He’s getting lil bro’d so hard.”
And a fourth added: “Huge lil bro energy.”
Zinchenko himself appeared to take it all in good spirits, having initially appeared to lose his cool.
In an Instagram post on Saturday he played things down and said he “will always be glad to see” his former team-mates.
Zinchenko wrote: “Not the result what we came for but we will bounce back!
“There are no old friends – there are friends with whom there are many good memories and you will always be glad to see each of them.
“There is no past home – there is a place where you were very happy, and now you are happy to return.
“Thank you Etihad for the warm welcome! See you soon at Emirates, I hope you will have fun!”
Jack Grealish was quick to comment on Zinchenko’s post.
The England and City star wrote: “My brother no matter what! U deserve everything my guy.”
Zinchenko and Arsenal are currently five points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League with a game in hand on their title rivals.
The two sides face off again at the Emirates on February 15th, before the return fixture at the Etihad in late April.
Zinchenko has been superb for Arsenal this season