THE NOTEBOOK: Etihad security ramped up for Arsenal fans at Man City FA Cup tie, while Leandro Trossard was a shining light for Mikel Arteta’s much-changed side on his full Gunners debut
Nathan Ake’s curling shot just after the hour mark was enough to see Manchester City knock out Premier League leaders Arsenal from the FA Cup on Friday night.
The match-up between England’s two leading clubs was a close encounter, but Jack Grealish’s pass to Ake was firmly delivered into the far corner out of reach of Gunners’ shot-stopper Matt Turner.
Here, Sportsmail’s JACK GAUGHAN explores the key talking points from the result, and some of the more unusual things you may have missed from the Etihad…
Nathan Ake scored Manchester City’s curling winner against Arsenal just after the hour mark
Security ramped up for Etihad away fans
The extravagant pre-match lights show was not the only thing that might have fooled some into thinking this was a big European night. The first four rows of the Arsenal end were covered, as often happens in the Champions League — a security move after high-profile incidents at recent cup games.
An allocation of around 8,000 away fans sit above City’s for cup matches. One girl was badly injured after being struck by an object thrown by a Liverpool supporter before Christmas, and missiles were thrown during the victory over Chelsea on January 8.
City issued paper pots for beer in the away concourses for Chelsea and have vowed to increase monitoring of CCTV to better identify perpetrators. Last night there were also 100 extra stewards in that section of the ground. Did these measures never occur to them beforehand when gifting the top two tiers of a stand to away fans?
Oleksandr Zinchenko shared an embrace with a member of City’s security staff on his return
You would forgive Oleksandr Zinchenko for being a little peeved at only being named as a substitute on his return to the Etihad Stadium after joining Arsenal. But the Ukrainian didn’t seem too bothered, sharing a warm embrace with one of City’s friendlier security staff as he walked in before receiving a standing ovation when he came on.
Trossard ready to challenge Martinelli
Leandro Trossard made a real impression on his full Arsenal debut, giving City’s teenage full back Rico Lewis a tough task.
Trossard gives Mikel Arteta something different on the left and will provide decent competition for Gabriel Martinelli, who is on the verge of signing a new four-and-a-half-year contract.
Trossard hugged the touchline more than Martinelli, as the Belgian’s touch map (right) shows.
Not the best afternoon for England’s batsmen in South Africa. They could have done with Liam Livingstone, but the injured all-rounder was here in the posh seats.
Livingstone was late out for the second half — most likely a reflection of the cuisine on offer at the Etihad.
England cricketer Liam Livingstone, one of the guests there, was late out for the second half
Manchester City are now unbeaten in 18 FA Cup matches after scoring the opening goal. Their last defeat came against Arsenal in April 2017, when Nacho Monreal and Alexis Sanchez secured a semi-final victory in extra time for the Gunners after Sergio Aguero had put City in front.
City aid Reading’s bid to topple United
There was a hive of activity across the road when this kicked off. Manchester City’s training complex was very busy, with various academy sessions going on. But there was a rather more senior group being put through their paces at the City Football Academy.
Reading, who face Manchester United tonight, asked if they were able to utilise the facilities ahead of their fourth-round tie and City obliged. Paul Ince, who won a couple of FA Cup trophies during his six-year spell at Old Trafford, was seemingly only too happy to lean on the blue half of the city for a helping hand in the Championship side’s preparations.
City loan out their space a fair bit, with United’s opponents in European competition often known to conduct their post-match warm-downs at City’s training complex the morning after a game.
Reading boss Paul Ince (R) borrowed Manchester City’s training facilities ahead of the FA Cup
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