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Manchester City 1-0 Arsenal: Key Talking Points As Pep Guardiola’s Side Send The Gunners Crashing Ou




With all eyes falling on the Etihad on Friday night, Manchester City extended on their FA Cup adventure thanks to a gritty 1-0 victory against title rivals Arsenal.


While both of the Premier League giants might have made a string of changes here, it was eventually Nathan Ake’s smart second-half finish that dragged Pep Guardiola’s side over the finish line.


Although the Sky Blues might still find Arsenal holding a five-point buffer at the top of the Premier League table, the former Barcelona boss will be boosted by an eye-catching victory on home soil.


Now tipped as a standout pick to lift a first FA Cup trophy since 2019, City also handed a high-flying Arsenal just a fourth defeat from across all competitions so far this season.

In a showdown between the two leading contenders in this season’s Premier League title scrap, we have taken a look at the main talking points following Friday’s battle in Manchester.


City’s psychological statement


Suffering a nightmare blip earlier in the month following their shock collapse at Old Trafford on January 14th, Manchester City have the feel of a side seeking some stability on either side of the World Cup break.


However, mounting that stellar second-half comeback against Tottenham last week as they claimed a vital 4-2 victory at the Etihad, it appears that Guardiola’s side have found top gear at a vital time.


Heading into Friday’s FA Cup showdown after cruising their way to a 3-0 romp against relegation scrappers Wolves, City are now enjoying a three-match domestic winning run.

With Guardiola quick to praise his side’s rugged display here, the Sky Blues will also believe that they can overturn Arsenal’s five-point advantage during the second-half of the season.


With Guardiola getting one over on his former protégé this weekend, City will also know that the FA Cup is a golden chance to get their hands on another piece of silverware.

Although Friday’s victory might not have any direct impact on this year’s title chase, they have made a potentially crucial psychological blow.


A missed opportunity for the Gunners


Claiming that remarkable last-gasp winner as they secured a 3-2 victory against Manchester United on home soil, Arsenal would have been smelling the chance to make another heavyweight marker here.


However, after missing a handful of first-half chances and eventually suffering just their third domestic defeat of the season, Arteta’s side will feel like Friday’s battle was an opportunity missed.


Nevertheless, making a string of changes at the Etihad and only continuing to gain a string of plaudits from across Europe, Arsenal should still find the mood in their camp at a red-hot high.

Coming past both Manchester United and north London rivals Tottenham over the past fortnight, the Gunners have their sights set on making real Premier League history this

season.


Still holding a commanding five-point buffer over Friday’s hosts and with their Europa League knockout stage adventure fast approaching, Arsenal will be looking to prove that their FA Cup exit was nothing more than a minor blip on their otherwise exceptional record.


Guardiola’s men extend on their rampant record


While it might be Manchester City who are facing an uphill struggle if they’re to defend their Premier League crown in 2023, the Sky Blues will be boosted by a rampant record against their title rivals.


Putting in a rugged display here as they extended on their FA Cup adventure, Guardiola’s side have now won each of their previous six straight domestic showdowns against Arsenal.

Likewise, leaving the Gunners heartbroken when they made the trip to north London 12 months ago as City claimed last-gasp 2-1 victory, City have also won 12 of their last 13 straight meetings – a run that stems all the way back to April 2017.


Hoping to use Friday’s performance as a platform to build on, City will be desperate for a repeat display when they travel to the Emirates in a fortnight’s time.

In what looks set to be a season-defining showdown from the English capital on February 15th, Guardiola’s superstars have the chance to lay down what could be a crucial blow.


Match Report

Manchester City: Ortega, Lewis, Akanji, Stones, Ake, Rodri, Gundogan, Mahrez, De Bruyne, Grealish, Haaland

Subs: Alvarez, Laporte, Silva, Walker

Arsenal: Turner, Tomyasu, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney, Xhaka, Partey, Vieira, Saka, Nketiah, Trossard

Subs: Zinchenko, Saliba, Odegaard, Martinelli, Lokonga

Goals: Ake (64′)

Yellow Cards: Manchester City: Gundogan – Arsenal: Holding, Zinchenko

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Paul Tierney


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