FA Cup: Manchester City edge out Arsenal in first meeting of season
Nathan Ake scored the only goal in a tight, cagey affair as Manchester City edged out Arsenal to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup on Friday.
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The two sides, who currently sit 1st (Arsenal - 50 points) and 2nd (Manchester City - 45 points) in the Premier League table, are yet to face another amid their ongoing title race. Friday’s cup tie was merely a table-setter for the main course(s) still to come over the PL’s final four months, but an instructive table-setter, for sure.
Premier League clash no. 1 is set for Wednesday, Feb. 15 at Emirates Stadium in north London, with the return fixture at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, April 26.
As for the FA Cup tie, there was precious little to separate the sides aside from a single touch off the inside of Ake’s right foot in the 64th minute.
Manchester City will return to Premier League action when they visit Tottenham next Sunday (Feb. 5, 11:30 am ET), more than 24 hours after Arsenal visit Everton on Saturday (7:30 am ET). The Gunners can go eight points clear before the two-time defending champions next take the field.
Manchester City vs Arsenal, FA Cup fourth round: How to watch live, stream link
Key storylines & in-form players to watch
The main storyline is easy: this is the first time we’ll see red-hot Arsenal test its mettle against the Premier League’s gold, er, silverware standard.
Arsenal will have a chance to run at Man City’s back line with Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Eddie Nketiah, and more, though there’s be even more juice in this match-up if Gabriel Jesus was healthy. Ex-City man Oleksandr Zinchenko may be ready for this reunion, too.
City’s won four-straight match-ups with Arsenal, but the last Gunners win came in... the 2019-20 FA Cup, when Arsenal knocked off the holders. That’s a top, top recent memory for the club, a North London outfit who will hope its a harbinger of what’s to come later this season. Plus, there’s silverware in play here, too, you know?!?
Will Pep Guardiola start Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne? Man City’s next game isn’t until Feb. 5 versus Tottenham, but Guardiola may not want to give Mikel Arteta’s men a taste of the duo with a huge Premier League encounter looming Feb. 15 at the Emirates Stadium.
Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options
Man City is pretty healthy and should be able to deploy whoever Pep Guardiola wants to see against Arsenal, though we know the Catalan wizard is sometimes careful with what he does in cup competitions against Premier League rivals.
Tonight's team 👊— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 27, 2023
XI | Ortega Moreno, Lewis, Stones, Akanji, Ake, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Gundogan (C), Mahrez, Grealish, Haaland
SUBS | Ederson, Walker, Dias, Phillips, Cancelo, Laporte, Alvarez, Bernardo, Palmer#ManCity | @HaysWorldwide pic.twitter.com/h8MmH3TaU6
Arsenal team news, injuries, lineup options
Gabriel Jesus will not be available to compete against his former club, while Reiss Nelson and Mohamed Elneny are unlikely to play.