The Notebook: Etihad security ramped up for the 8,000 Arsenal fans at Manchester City FA Cup tie


THE NOTEBOOK: Etihad security stepped up for Arsenal fans in Man City’s FA Cup tie, while Leandro Trossard was a shining light for Mikel Arteta’s much-changed side on his full debut for the Gunners.

Nathan Ake’s shot just after the hour was enough for Manchester City to knock out Premier League leaders Arsenal from the FA Cup on Friday night.

The showdown between England’s two top clubs was a tight contest, but Jack Grealish’s pass to Ake was delivered firmly into the far corner of Gunners goalkeeper Matt Turner’s reach.

Here, Sportsmail’s JACK GAUGHAN explore the key talking points of the result and some of the more unusual things you might have missed from the Etihad…

Nathan Ake scored Manchester City's winner against Arsenal shortly after the hour mark

Nathan Ake scored Manchester City’s winner against Arsenal shortly after the hour mark

Increased security for visiting Etihad fans

The extravagant pre-match light show wasn’t the only thing that might have made some think it was a great European night. The first four rows of the Arsenal winger were covered, as is often the case in the Champions League, a security measure after high-profile incidents in recent cup matches.

An allocation of around 8,000 away fans sit above City for cup matches. A girl was seriously injured after being hit by an object thrown by a Liverpool supporter before Christmas, and missiles were fired during their win over Chelsea on January 8.

City handed out paper beer cans on Chelsea concourses and vowed to increase security camera monitoring to better identify perpetrators. On Friday night there were also an additional 100 commissioners on that section of the ground. Did these measures never occur to you beforehand when giving away the first two levels of a stand to away fans?

Oleksandr Zinchenko shared a hug with a member of the city's security staff upon his return

Oleksandr Zinchenko shared a hug with a member of the city’s security staff upon his return

I would forgive Oleksandr Zinchenko for being a bit upset at being named only as a substitute on his return to the Etihad Stadium after joining Arsenal. But the Ukrainian didn’t seem too concerned, sharing a warm hug with one of the city’s friendliest security personnel as he entered before receiving a standing ovation as he entered.

1674864526 1 The Notebook Etihad security ramped up for the 8000 Arsenal

Trossard ready to challenge Martinelli

Leandro Trossard made quite an 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 about to sign a new four-and-a-half-year deal.

Trossard stuck closer to the touchline than Martinelli, as the Belgian’s touch map shows (right).

Not the best evening for England batsmen in South Africa. They could have done it with Liam Livingstone, but the injured all-rounder was here in the fancy seats.

Livingstone was late in 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 for the second half.

England cricketer Liam Livingstone, one of the guests there, was late for the second half.

Manchester City are now unbeaten in 18 FA Cup games after scoring the first goal. Their last defeat came against Arsenal in April 2017, when Nacho Monreal and Alexis Sánchez secured an extra-time semi-final win for the Gunners after Sergio Agüero put City ahead.

City helps Reading bid to topple United

There was a hive of activity across the street when this started. Manchester City’s training complex was very busy, with several academy sessions going on. But there was a much more senior group that was being put to the test at the City Football Academy.

Reading, who face Manchester United in the evening, asked if they could use the facilities before the fourth round tie and City agreed. Paul Ince, who won a pair of FA Cup trophies during his six-year spell at Old Trafford, was apparently all too happy to lean on the city’s blue half to help with preparations for the Championship team.

City lend their space quite a bit, as United’s opponents in European competitions often hold their post-match warm-up at City’s training complex the morning after a game.

Reading boss Paul Ince (right) borrowed Manchester City's training facility ahead of the FA Cup

Reading boss Paul Ince (right) borrowed Manchester City’s training facility ahead of the FA Cup

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