Manchester City beat Arsenal at home on Friday to advance in the FA Cup. A lone goal by Nathan Ake gave the edge to the hosts on the night. City will now play in the round of 16 of the competition and try to win their first FA Cup since 2019.
Despite being a fourth round cup game, Friday’s fixture was one of the more anticipated matchups of this season. Arsenal and City have undoubtedly been the top two teams in England during the current campaign. Entering the game, they have combined to lose just seven of their 57 games in all competitions.
Even start to the match
As expected, the game started evenly. The hosts had more of possession inside the opening 30 minutes, as one would expect with Manchester City. Still, Arsenal had the two best scoring chances. Takehiro Tomiyasu and Leandro Trossard both had quality shots saved by City goalkeeper Stefan Ortega in the opening stages of the game.
Perhaps the most noteworthy part of a goalless first half was an injury. Center back John Stones was forced off after seemingly pulling his hamstring very late in the period. Aymeric Laporte was introduced to the match only moments before the halftime break.
City finds a way against Arsenal in second half of FA Cup tie
Much like City’s recent game with Tottenham Hotspur, the reigning Premier League champions upped their intensity in the second half. The breakthrough came in the 64th minute of the match. Julian Alvarez hit the base of the post from long range. The ball then fell to Jack Grealish inside the box. Grealish found Nathan Ake who neatly passed the ball into the bottom corner.
The goal appeared to wake Arsenal back up though. Eddie Nketiah nearly leveled the scoreline just a few minutes later. The striker had a fantastic chance to score just a yard or two away from goal, but he couldn’t get good contact on the ball.
Nevertheless, the league leaders could not break down a stingy City defense. Arsenal’s only two shots on target came in the opening period. The Gunners will next face Everton in league play, while City are set to face Spurs yet again.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Focus Images
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