Manchester City defeated Premier League leaders Arsenal 1-0 in the FA cup 4th round. Manager Pep Guardiola praised Nathan Ake, calling him an “exceptional guy” for the winning goal.
The Gunners have a commanding lead in the league, but City prevailed thanks to Ake’s clinical finish with the help of Jack Grealish’s assist in the 64th minute.
Takehiro Tomiyasu and newcomer Leandro Trossard both had good chances for Arsenal. However, City goalkeeper Stefan Ortega, filling in for Ederson, made some great saves.
Their Premier League battle will be in sharper focus when they meet at Emirates Stadium on February 15, as Manchester City will hope to defeat Arsenal.
“We improved greatly in the second half. As a team, Arsenal has made progress. It was a close contest that highlighted just how talented a team they are, “What Guardiola had to say.
“Wow, Ake is having quite the season. Because Bukayo Saka is having a phenomenal season, he was able to dominate one of the Premier League’s toughest opponents. He’s great at winning one-on-one fights inside the box and also protecting the far post on set pieces.
“He is a truly remarkable individual; he went through a stretch where he wasn’t playing and never once grumbled about it. If you’re a manager, Nathan’s the kind of player you dream about. He is deserving of nothing but the best.”
Superiority of city
Since City Manager Pep Guardiola has identified Arsenal as their greatest rival for the title, the Citizens will see this as a psychological blow aimed at Arsenal.
Manchester City wasn’t at their fluid best, but their roster is so deep in talent that they always find a way to win. In this case, it was Grealish’s dribbling run into the box that set up Ake’s smart finish.
Even though Erling Haaland didn’t do much to contribute to City’s victory, Guardiola is happy that his team was able to prevail against opponents who have become so formidable and who have lost only one league game this season.
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However, the victory did not come without sacrifice, as the outstanding defender John Stones had to leave the game with a hamstring injury right before halftime (he had also been outstanding for his club this season and for England at the World Cup).
Guardiola will be hoping that the medical notice does not pose a long-term threat to Stones’ ability to contribute to City’s success.
Hopes for Arsenal are available.
Though it was Arsenal’s first taste of defeat this season, manager Mikel Arteta can take heart from some positive signs as his team returns to Premier League action.
The Gunners contained the goal-scoring machine Haaland, and they looked dangerous going forward in the first half thanks in large part to the recent £21 million signing Trossard. However, Ortega was the busier goalkeeper.
Martin Odegaard, Oleksandr Zinchenko, William Saliba, Gabriel Martinelli, and Aaron Ramsdale, all crucial contributors, were not even in the starting lineup, and they still managed to pull off the victory.
At the death, Arsenal made a determined push, and Ortega showed great courage to keep them at bay in dangerous goalmouth situations.
Arteta told ITV, “I think we could have gotten much more out of the game.”
“We had some great opportunities to win the game, and we blew them. Many encouraging things can be gleaned from our approach to and execution of the game. We went head-to-head with a formidable opponent and came out on top.
“You need to be the difference maker in the clutch situations and the championship games. You have to adopt this strategy if you want to win.”
Although the loss hurt Arteta, Arsenal’s performance was strong enough not to consider this a major setback.
Either manager made no inferences.
In their post-game media interviews, Guardiola and Arteta indicated that they were not going to draw any major conclusions from the season’s first major battle between the clubs.
Man City will be pleased with their second FA Cup victory after their third-round win over Chelsea, and Arteta will be able to take some solace in his solid performance despite the loss.
On the negative side, .both managers had their players injured.
After having a £60 million bid for Brighton’s Moses Caicedo rejected, Arsenal will be hoping that Thomas Partey’s rib injury, which requires a scan, will not be a significant problem for the hugely influential midfield man.
After leaving the game late in the first half with a hamstring injury, Stones is a major concern for City. Even though Guardiola’s defense is strong overall, Stones has been one of the team’s most outstanding and reliable performers this year. And that’s all how Manchester City Defeated Arsenal.