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Home » Score, Result and Highlights of Manchester City vs Arsenal as Nathan Ake Secures FA Cup Win for Pep Guardiola’s Side

Score, Result and Highlights of Manchester City vs Arsenal as Nathan Ake Secures FA Cup Win for Pep Guardiola’s Side

28 January 2023, Saturday
Nathan Ake's strike was the difference as Manchester City claimed a 1-0 victory over Arsenal in the fourth round of the FA Cup at the Etihad Stadium.

Mikel Arteta's men, topping the Premier League by five points ahead of the defending champions with a game in hand, welcomed back six players from the victory over Man United last weekend, with Takehiro Tomiyasu and Leandro Trossard both going close in the first half, forcing fine saves from City shot-stopper Stefan Ortega.

However, it was Ake who had the last laugh, netting a crucial winner to send Pep Guardiola's side through to the next round.

Kevin De Bruyne almost opened the scoring with a stunning 25-yard shot, but Arsenal had the best opportunity of the first half when Eddie Nketiah failed to convert Trossard's cross at the near post. This proved costly when, thanks to substitute Julian Alvarez striking the post, City defender Ake was able to smash it home from Jack Grealish's pass.

Trossard put in a standout display for Arsenal in the face of an impressive display of defending from Ake on Bukayo Saka. In the sixth minute, the Belgium international sent a ball across the City box that was powerfully struck by Tomiyasu, only to be denied by a sharp save from Ortega. Trossard then went on to try and make something happen himself, however, his efforts were also thwarted by the goalkeeper. De Bruyne had a few moments but was ultimately overshadowed by his fellow countryman. Trossard had the chance to register an assist but it was not to be as Nketiah squandered the opportunity.

Ake demonstrated great composure during the match, whilst his fellow forwards, including Erling Haaland, were more lacklustre. Grealish was instrumental in keeping the ball moving after Alvarez struck the upright; his movement drew the attention of Tomiyasu and Saka, allowing Ake to finish the move with aplomb.

Arsenal continued to push for a replay, and substitute Gabriel Martinelli caused Ortega to remain focused until the final whistle.

Despite the final score, Arsenal proved to City that they will not be giving up in the current season's title race. A new team gave a strong show against Guardiola's full outfield squad in the first half. The Gunners demonstrated resilience in responding to Ake's goal and overall, the close defeat coupled with a heightened focus on the Premier League (or, sorry, the Europa League) result is surprisingly beneficial for Mikel Arteta.

John Stones' hamstring problem near the conclusion of the first half once again tested Manchester City's depth at centre-back. Aymeric Laporte came on to replace the Englishman with Ruben Dias remaining unused, an improbable circumstance in recent times. Much of this shift in hierarchy is due to the impressive form and flexibility of Nathan Ake. Guardiola has hailed Ake as his most dependable defender in terms of guarding the penalty area, and the Dutchman proved that to be true against Saka. In an unexpected but deserved bonus, Ake also scored.

City endured a difficult first half, with their usual precise passing failing to come together. This has been an all-too-familiar thing since the World Cup. For the answer, look no further than the very person who brought home the trophy from the tournament: Alvarez. His presence in the game was felt, propelling the team to the goal and energizing his fellow attackers in the crucial moment. The Argentinian star has the ability to quickly break up play, put pressure on opponents and make his way around the pitch in search for success.

Pep Guardiola's men battled hard to come away with a victory tonight, displaying a marked improvement from the uninspired first half performance. Arsenal was in control during the opening period and pushed City to their limits after falling behind. Arteta rang in a slew of alterations to the starting lineup, but the Gunners played with real confidence and conviction. City was not always at the top of their game, but their stubborn refusal to surrender the win could be viewed as a warning sign by the north London club.
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