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Man City boss Guardiola - 'I did not expect man-to-man from Arsenal.

Pep Guardiola Man City beat the Gunners 1-0 in the FA Cup at the Etihad [BBC MOTD]
Pep Guardiola Man City beat the Gunners 1-0 in the FA Cup at the Etihad [BBC MOTD]

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said ‘Arsenal have taken a step forward’ after the Cityzens sealed a win over the Gunners in the FA Cup.

Mikel Arteta made six changes to his Gunners starting lineup as they ran their Premier League title rivals close at the Etihad Stadium in their quest to secure a place in the next round of the competition.

But the hosts laid down a marker as they saw off the champions-elect, with Nathan Ake hitting the net in the 64th minute as Pep Guardiola's side qualified for the fifth round of football's oldest competition.

Arsenal matched City through the game but they couldn't score the goal that would've forced a replay at the Emirates Stadium.

However, after the victory, Guardiola admitted that he did not expect Arsenal to match them ‘man-to-man’.

Pep - ‘I did not expect the approach from them – man-to-man’

“We were definitely better in the second half," the City manager Guardiola told BBC Sport. "Arsenal have taken a step forward. It was a tight game and you realise how good a side they are.

“I did not expect the approach from them – man-to man – it was difficult to build up but we beat the team at the top of the league and are in the next round.

“What a season he [Nathan Ake] is playing. He controlled one of the toughest opponents in the Premier League because Saka is in an incredible moment.

"He is really good in the duels in the box, defending the far post and set pieces is an extra bonus. He is an exceptional guy, there was a period where he didn’t play and he never complained once.”

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