“Pep Guardiola Surprised by Mikel Arteta’s Impact in Manchester City’s FA Cup Win Against Arsenal”
Manchester City defeated Arsenal 1-0 in the fourth round of the FA Cup at the Etihad Stadium, although Mikel Arteta’s tactics stunned Pep Guardiola.
Pep Guardiola did not expect Mikel Arteta to tell his Arsenal teammates to go man-for-man in their FA Cup fourth-round match at the Etihad, but he downplayed the game’s significance concerning the title rivals’ upcoming league matchups.
Arsenal was man-marked all over the pitch, and the approach caused City problems in what turned out to be a low-key game, which Nathan Ake’s second-half strike settled.
Man-for-man tactics have been used against City before, and Manchester United used the same strategy against the Blues midfield two weeks ago at Old Trafford.
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Guardiola may have felt he understood what to anticipate from Arteta after working as his assistant for three years until December 2019, but the techniques still caught him off guard.
“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,” he said.
Guardiola doesn’t expect the game to have too much bearing on the league meetings, the first of which comes in less than three weeks, but admits he will at least be aware of the possibility of a man-to-man marking scheme.
“Now I know they can do it in a few when we go there. They saw what we can do, we saw what they can do,” he said.
“Maybe we change something, especially for the players, you select and of course when you play man-to-man, Rico [Lewis] is not as much necessary like, for example, Kyle [Walker].”
When asked if City were coming up against a man-for-man approach more often this season, Guardiola suggested his team knew what they had to do to negate such tactics.
“More than welcome, they can do whatever they want,” he said. “We know we play many times in these seven years teams with man-to-man marking, we know exactly what we have to do but sometimes the opponent it is not easy.”kes it difficult.”