If the quality was dialled down in this heavyweight collision, there were still enough feints, jabs, punches and counters to fascinate. Manchester City administered the knockout blow. They were close to ineffectual before the break, then came out and took the tie to Arsenal. Pep Guardiola can be snarky about the timings of his substitutions but his introduction of Julián Álvarez on 58 minutes was a masterstroke. It was the forward’s 20-yard effort that presaged Nathan Aké’s winner: it crashed into a post and then Jack Grealish took over and weaved his magic.
A twist and a turn in the area bought time and space for an offload. Who knows why the defender was goal-hanging but Aké’s cool finish with his weaker right was rolled beyond Matt Turner with aplomb to send himself, manager, teammates and the home congregation into raptures.
Written by Jamie Jackson at the Etihad Stadium
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/football/2023/jan/27/manchester-city-arsenal-fa-cup-fourth-round-match-report under the title “Manchester City edge FA Cup battle of title rivals as Nathan Aké sinks Arsenal”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.