Nathan Ake proved to be an unlikely match-winner as Manchester City edged out a 1-0 win over Arsenal in the FA Cup at home.

The Dutch international curled in the only goal of the game with a low shot in the 64th minute as Pep Guardiola’s City landed the first blow in their trilogy of clashes with the Gunners over the coming months.

Sensing the importance of a win Guardiola decided to make just two changes to his regular side to Arteta’s six. However, the Premier League leaders looked at home forcing City to play direct rather than their usual free-flowing passion attacks.

The results were mixed with chances being punctuated with periods of their players, including goal-scoring machine Erling Haaland, looking uncomfortable with the altered plan.

Arsenal, meanwhile, went close through Takehiro Tomiyasu and Leandro Trossard.

First, the Japanse tested Stefan Ortega with a stinging shot in the fifth minute before Trossard, in his first start for the club, also drew a smart from the German goalkeeper.

City’s best chance of the half fell to Kevin de Bruyne but his curling effort just went wide off the post.

The hosts improved exponentially after the break with the Belgian midfielder making more runs into space while Julian Alvarez’s introduction in the 58th added another dynamic to their attack.

The change paid off just six minutes later when the World Cup winner rattled the base of the post with a powerful long-range drive that fell to Jack Grealish who laid it off to Ake to curl in the winner.

With the goal scored, Manchester City saw off the game eliminating Arsenal from the FA Cup in the 4th round.

The win adds extra spice to their Premier League meeting on February 16th.