Mikel Arteta has hinted he is unlikely to replicate the tactics that shocked Pep Guardiola during last night’s FA Cup clash between Manchester City and Arsenal.
Nathan Ake’s second half strike was enough to edge City into the fifth round with a much-changed Arsenal side kept at arm’s once they had fallen behind in the 64th minute.
Despite the defeat, only their fourth of the season in all competitions, Mikel Arteta and his side were able to take plenty of encouragement from their performance having limited City, and Erling Haaland in particular, to a few fleeting glimpses of their goal.
Arsenal dealt with Haaland by going man-to-man with the Norwegian goal machine and matched City all across the pitch, much to Guardiola’s surprise.
Asked about his opposite number’s approach, he said: ‘I didn’t expect this approach with this courage, the man-for-man, when this happens it makes the process difficult.
‘In the second half we make contact more than usual with Erling [Haaland], it’s what you have to do.’
The two teams meet again in just over a fortnight’s time at the Emirates Stadium when the likes of Gabriel Martinelli, Oleksandr Zinchenko and William Saliba are likely to return to the starting XI.
Influential captain Martin Odegaard will also present more of a problem to City’s defence than Fabio Vieira, who desputised for the skipper last night, and Arteta is alsmost certain to adopt a different system.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, he said: ‘I think it will be a very different match from both sides, probably with different personnel as well.
‘That’s it – we tried to compete here and win today. We came here to win the game and unfortunately, we haven’t. The next match will hopefully be different.
‘I have a lot of time to think about and prepare for that game – the same that Pep will have.
‘We’ll review the match and try to do what is best for us, to nullify and create issues for opponents, like we always do.’
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