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FA Cup | Manchester City 1-0 Arsenal: Match report, player ratings, expert analysis, fan reaction and more

A superb second-half strike from Dutch international defender Nathan Aké separated the two sides in Manchester as City labored against an under-strength Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium

Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta were reunited in the technical area once again tonight during the fourth round of the FA Cup at the Etihad Stadium, with Manchester City needing a narrow 1-0 win in front of home support to dispatch a young Arsenal side that was heavily rotated but nevertheless performed admirably away from the capital.

Despite the changes in the Arsenal XI, Mikel Arteta’s outfit stood toe-to-toe with City in the opening 30-minutes in a show of force that was commensurate with the growing reality that the Gunners are, on form, just as good as the reigning Premier League champions.

Arsenal crafted the better chances in the opening exchanges, with City showing due respect to the current league leaders despite being on their home patch, with both Takehiro Tomiyasu and Leandro Trossard testing cup goalkeeper Stefan Ortega with rasping efforts inside the opening 20-minutes on either side of Erling Haaland nearly capitalizing on Matt Turner coming well out of goal to clear, with the Norwegian attempting an over-head kick that was dealt with by Tomiyasu.

The match remained deadlocked until the 65th minute from an unlikely source through Dutch international defender Nathan Aké after second-half substitute Julián Álvarez hit the far post after unleashing a well-struck effort from range, with the ball bouncing back to Jack Grealish who eventually found Aké inside the area to bend an accurate effort into the far corner.

City had made good on their increased dominance since the interval and looked on-odds to secure passage into the next round on evidence leading up to the goal, but Arsenal almost immediately equalized through Eddie Nketiah if for a last-gasp block from Aymeric Laporte after the Hale End graduate was nearly found six yards out.

That goal would stand as the match-winner on the night for City, but alarm bells perhaps should be ringing around the Etihad after Guardiola’s men labored to a result against what was largely a second-string Arsenal side for the bulk of the tie.

Manchester City Player Ratings

  • GK: Stefan Ortega – 7
  • RB: Rico Lewis – 7
  • CB: Manuel Akanji – 7
  • CB: John Stones – 6.5
  • LB: Nathan Aké – 8
  • CM: Ilkay Gündogan – 7
  • CM: Rodri – 7
  • CAM: Kevin De Bruyne – 6
  • RW: Riyad Mahrez – 6.5
  • LW: Jack Grealish – 7
  • CF: Erling Haaland – 6
  • Sub: Aymeric Laporte – 6.5
  • Sub: Julián Álvarez – 7
  • Sub: Kyle Walker – 6
  • Sub: Bernardo Silva – 6.5

Arsenal Player Ratings

  • GK: Matt Turner – 7
  • RB: Takehiro Tomiyasu – 6.5
  • CB: Rob Holding – 6
  • CB: Gabriel Magalhães – 7
  • LB: Kieran Tierney – 6.5
  • DM: Thomas Partey – 7
  • CM: Fábio Vieira – 6
  • CM: Granit Xhaka – 6.5
  • RW: Bukayo Saka – 6
  • LW: Leandro Trossard – 7
  • CF: Eddie Nketiah – 6
  • Sub: William Saliba – 7
  • Sub: Sambi Lokonga – 5.5
  • Sub: Gabriel Martinelli – 7
  • Sub: Oleksandr Zinchenko – 6.5
  • Sub: Martin Ødegaard – 6

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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