Manchester City v Arsenal: the team and the FA Cup


Manchester City v Arsenal – tonight’s game

Manchester City were promoted to the Premier League in 2002, and meandered between 5th and 16th until 2011 when they came third and won the FA Cup.  They have only won the FA Cup once more since then, making it a grand total of six FA Cup wins.  This makes them the eighth most successful FA Cup team in the history of the competition going back to its start in 1871/72.

Arsenal have been in the top division for over 100 years – if you would like to read the true story of how Arsenal were elected to the league in 1919 (rather than the fantasy tale made up in the 1950s about how Arsenal supposedly bought their way in) that story in full appears in the series “The 1919 Affair”

However Arsenal didn’t get to their first FA Cup until 1927 and didn’t win it until 1930 – the start of the glorious 30s under Chapman and Allison which included two FA Cup wins and five League titles in one decade.

It was Arsene Wenger who took Arsenal to FA Cup dominance and also became the manager who has won the FA Cup more times than any other manager in this whole history of the competition, with seven victories for himself.  Arteta has won it once since, and Arsenal are now in such a position in FA Cup history that by and large the rest of the teams involved hardly count.


Results by team
Club Wins First win Last win R-U Finals % Wins
Arsenal 14 1930 2020 7 21 67%
Manchester United 12 1909 2016 8 20 60%
Chelsea 8 1970 2018 8 16 50%
Liverpool 8 1965 2022 7 15 53%%
Tottenham Hotspur 8 1901 1991 1 9 89%


And here we can see an achievement for Tottenham Hotspur in that when they get to the final (which they don’t very often) they tend to win it.

Manchester City don’t figure above as they have only won it six times and been runners-up five times, giving them a total of 11 final appearances.

So what of the team?

The Standard has an article at the time I am writing this which says “Predicted lineup” in its headline, but only includes Manchester City.   Perhaps they think it’s all over.

And Football.London seem to have taken advantage of this, offering us no less than three separate line-ups, or is that lines-up?  I’m never quite sure.

Kaynak’s Arsenal XI vs Manchester City:


Tomiyasu, Holding, Kiwior, Tierney;

Partey, Lokonga, Vieira;

Trossard, Nketiah, Smith Rowe

Tom Canton’s Arsenal XI vs Manchester City: 


Tomiyasu, Saliba, Kiwior, Tierney;

Xhaka, Smith Rowe, Odegaard;

Saka, Nketiah, Trossard

Tashan Deniran-Alleyne’s Arsenal XI vs Manchester City: 


Tomiyasu, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko;

Partey, Odegaard, Xhaka;

Saka, Nketiah, Trossard

The Hard Tackle goes with


Tomiyasu, Saliba, Kiwior, Tierney;

Odegaard, Partey, Vieira;

Trossard, Nketiah, Smith Rowe

90Min offers up


Tomiyasu, Saliba, Holding, Zinchenko;

Odegaard, Partey, Xhaka;

Trossard, Nketiah, Martinelli.

The Independent has


Tomiyasi, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko;

Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard;

Saka, Nketiah, Trossard


Other permutations are available, but that gives us quite an array of ways that the team might line up.  And the variations within the above does mean that by and large no one quite knows.

The question is, given that as earlier articles have shown we are never going to get protection from the referee on Manchester City’s ground, should we be playing anyone whose loss would be catastrophic to the team? 

Our next two games against Everton and Brentford look very winnable, but a shaky performance today might lead to some psychological uncertainty for the next match.  On the other hand injury to a key player could also be an even greater problem.

If either happens, Arteta will be blamed and Arsenal’s immediate collapse will be predicted.  This might not be too bad because it is what the media has been predicting for much of the season.  And as we have seen in relation to last summer’s predictions with no one even having Arsenal in the top four, let alone being top of the league, most media football reporting is, not to put too fine a point on it, mindless tripe.

22 Replies to “Manchester City v Arsenal: the team and the FA Cup”

  1. Interesting. Mr Arteta is going ‘full explorer’ with a totally new team and loads of responsibilities on players who need experience.

    Daring !

  2. Pep is playing his full starting lineup. Mikel is playing with, what, 5 changes?

  3. I am noticing just how much Haaland aggressively pushes off of defenders. It’s quite obvious really.

  4. well, interesting first half.

    – Trossard is the real deal. Fearless and technically totally OK
    – Holding mostly cotroling Haaland – the yellow was expected.
    – Arsenal B-team as good as City A-team
    – Saka seems just tired. Or the City defender has figured how to control him
    – Viera lacking experience, some nice moments but seems kind of out-muscled

    What happens if Mr Arteta gets some of the A-teamers onto the pitch in the second half ? or try Marquinhos on the right ?

    I really like what I am seeing. Really.

    The french commentators are all City fans… pathetic.

  5. Saka has had a quiet night. Vieira has not been on the ball so Saka hasn’t had any service. Only 10 minutes but you can notice the lack of control in midfield without Partey there.

  6. Well I’m quite happy with that. Not with losing, that’s never much fun. But over all we made the better chances. Apart from the goal they never had a decent shot on goal.

    Bring em on in the premier league.

  7. I think we learned today that our starting 11 can beat them. With the changes made there wasn’t the cohesion we usually have. But it was a good practice to see where we stand for the moment and where some players stand. How much I like the FA cup as a trophee, I feel this season we should set our sight on another trophy hunt…. Don’t like the defeat but the way we played gives me a good feeling

  8. What do the following have in common?
    1) Tottenham Hotspur 3 Arsenal 0, 12th May 2022;
    2) Manchester United 3 Arsenal 1, 4th September 2022;
    3) Manchester City 1 Arsenal 0, 27th January 2023?

  9. Well, our ‘Trooping the colours’ day is passed. What I’ve seen is that the Arsenal B Team made it quite hard on City to win.
    Saka seemed having an off-day.
    Trossard is good, not, Martinelli-good, but he’s good.
    Viera seemed physically overwhelmed, but had moments where you could see that he’s not without qualities.
    Lokonga is in dire need of game time. He had flashes, looks like a good technician, but not yet PL ready. We need cover for Partey.
    Holding and Saliba got the best of Haaland. Just think about this fact. They actually did.
    Refereeing was better then the worst we expected.

    The game against City is going to be open if you ask me. And the fact that City fielded their A-Team means Guardiola was hedging his bets, not sure to win the PL, in need to get some other trophy. Arteta was clearly stating to the world stage : PL is our priority.

    Then again, apart from EL, this is just our 2nd loss of the season.

  10. @Chris… I agree. As soon as Zinchenko and Martinelli came on the pace of our play picked up and we created several half chances. Odegaard didn’t have the same impact because Saka went off at the same time. I can see what Lukonga and Vieira have but they are not yet good enough cover for Partey and Odegaard. Odegaard was visibly frustrated with Lukonga on the pitch.

  11. @Chris… I agree. As soon as Zinchenko and Martinelli came on the pace of our play picked up and we created several half chances. Odegaard didn’t have the same impact because Saka went off at the same time. I can see what Lukonga and Vieira have but they are not yet good enough cover for Partey and Odegaard. Odegaard was visibly frustrated with Lukonga on the pitch.

  12. @GGG,

    Lokonga and Viera lack minutes in the PL. And at least Viera, physically, seems frail – like Eddie 2 years ago. They need time.
    And we can’t have 2 Parteys, 2 Sakas….I mean, heads or tails to decide who plays ? And sure enough, some automatisms cannot be like when the standard eleven plays.

    Mr Arteta is cunning. He did show off his B Team like : look the kids do not flinch and you need yout A Team to beat them.

    They (the kids) held Haaland at bay.

    Please read this last sentence again, as this is FC Haaland.

    5 points ahead, one game in hand. And, IMHO, City are going to lose more points.

    As for the commentators, commending the lone young City player who did not really produce and criticizing Lokonga…why don’t you use the same scale of judgement ?

  13. Not disappointed with our performance, kept Haarland quiet, kept their forward line in check, and made their goalkeeper busy in the first half. Fine margins but City narrowly edged the victory. Progress has definitely been made.

  14. Going into the game we didn’t know did we? We hadn’t played City for a long time. How was we going to measure up?

    We could of got stuffed. We could of been totally out played. We wasn’t. Okay we lost, but we played a more weakened team than they did and yet, I still believe we looked the better team.

    Funny isn’t it, even though we lost, I feel much more confident now, than I did 3 hours ago, that we will prevail in the race for the Premier League.

    Don’t get me wrong, Man City are a fantastic team. I just think we are better.

  15. I agree with your first line, Nitram. Although we were happy with our performances this year, we hadn’t yet played City. And, now we have and they are not the 10ft monsters that the media portray them as. Our lads went out there and played them even up. Our boys will be even hungrier in a fortnight.

  16. Despite the commentators fixation with Haaland, he did not get much of a chance against our centre-backs. Holding was physically stronger and reduced him to feigning injury and pleading to the referee.

    Result disappointing, but for much of the game we were the better side.

    City indebted to their keeper

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