nathan ake celebrates scoring the winner for manchester city against arsenal in the FA Cup fourth round
in ,

Guardiola reacts as Man City book place in FA Cup fifth round with 1-0 win over Arsenal

Manchester City booked their place in the draw for the FA Cup fifth round after a 1-0 victory over Arsenal at the Etihad.

It was an intriguing cup tie that pitted the top two sides in English football at present against each other for the first time this season, with the Gunners currently holding a five point advantage over the champions in the Premier League.


Arsenal made six changes from the side that beat Manchester United last weekend, with Erling Haaland against Rob Holding quickly shaping up to be an interesting matchup, with the Norwegian seemingly targeting the centre-back from the off.

Despite all the changes, Mikel Arteta’s side still posed a threat, with January signing Leandro Trossard looking lively down the left on his full debut, while Kevin de Bruyne curled a superb effort agonisingly wide in what was an even and goalless first half.

Chances were at a premium in the opening stages of the second half as both sides continued to match each other, though shortly after changing shape, it was Manchester City who took the lead just after the hour mark. Substitute Julian Alvarez saw an effort come back off the post only for the ball to come back out to Jack Grealish. The England international rolled it into the path of the advanced Nathan Ake who produced a composed finish into the bottom corner with his supposedly weaker right foot.

Arsenal introduced Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard in a bid to get back in the tie, and the Brazilian certainly looked lively down the left, though ultimately, the Gunners couldn’t really test Stefan Ortega in the City goal as last seasons beaten semi-finalists progressed to the fifth round.

Speaking after the game, Pep Guardiola admitted he was surprised by Arsenal’s game plan.

“We were definitely better in the second half,” he told BBC. “Arsenal have taken a step forward. It was a tight game and you realise how good a side they are.

“I did not expect the approach from them – man-to-man – it was difficult to build up but we beat the team at the top of the league and are in the next round.”

Asked about matchwinner, Nathan Ake, Guardiola was full of praise for the Netherlands international.

“What a season he is playing,” he said. “He controlled one of the toughest opponents in the Premier League because Saka is in an incredible moment.

“He is really good in the duels in the box, defending the far post and set pieces is an extra bonus. He is an exceptional guy, there was a period where he didn’t play and he never complained once.”

Read – Manchester City vs Arsenal – Combined XI

Read Also – Five of the most interesting FA Cup ties this weekend

Subscribe to our social channels:

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments