Although it wasn’t one of those flattering goals, Pep Guardiola proved once again that he has the magic wand when it comes to beating Arsenal.
While the Gunners are unbeaten in all competitions since the end of October, they felt grounded at the Etihad on Friday night.
Remarkably, the Citizens had lost four straight games against the Gunners in the FA Cup before finally breaking that curse on Friday.
With Friday’s 1-0 win in the FA Cup fourth round clash at the Etihad, Guardiola has now won more games against Arsenal (18) than any other club in his managerial career.
As satisfying as that sounds, Guardiola will be keen to make it to 20 wins against the Gunners this season as a Premier League doubleheader is still on the cards between the sides.
If that is achieved, the Premier League title race would have been tipped in favor of the Spaniard who is seeking a stunning fifth EPL crown with the Citizens.
In this latest win over Arsenal, Nathan Ake was City’s hero; keeping Bukayo Saka quiet and scoring the all-important goal that ensured his side progressed to the Fifth Round of the FA Cup.
As hard as Arsenal tried, they couldn’t come up with an answer despite bowling to several of their big hitters late in the game.
For Guardiola and Mikel Arteta, the match was definitely different.
Arteta, while speaking to ITV, did not hide his disappointment even though he believes there are positives to be drawn from the small loss.
He said: “We are disappointed. We could have gotten a lot more out of the game, but one action decided a game that was really tight and competitive. Unfortunately, we are out.
“We had a lot of control in the second half and we had big situations that we didn’t get into and in those games, you need to do that.
ALSO READ: EPL roundup: Nketiah, Saka score as Arsenal win five-goal thriller against Man United
“We can take many positive aspects. I think the way we approached the game and the way we competed in the game was really good because it’s so hard to do that against this incredible team and we played head-to-head with them.”
On what Arsenal can learn from this game ahead of its Premier league Meeting in 20 days, Arteta responded: “In the great moments of the great games you have to make a difference and that’s how you win these teams.”
For Guardiola, he praised Ake, whom he described as the delight of all coaches.
“As a manager, you become a manager to have players like Nathan, so he deserves all the good things in life, in his profession and in his job,” the City manager told ITV.
Support PREMIUM TIMES journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. However, only good journalism can guarantee the possibility of a good society, a responsible democracy and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country, we ask that you consider making a modest support for this noble effort.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to keep journalism relevant and ensuring that it remains free and available to everyone.
TEXT AD: Call Willie – +2348098788999