In a tight match, the key difference was Nathan Ake’s coolly-taken winner in the 64th minute that secured the victory.
With the Gunners currently leading the Premier League by five points, it will be the first of three big matches against Mikel Arteta’s side this season.
Here we’ll dig deeper into some of the statistics that came out of Friday night’s fourth round clash…
Both managers like their teams to have the ball but it was City that enjoyed the majority of possession – with 53.6% while we completed 492 passes compared to Arsenal’s 417.
Our passing success was also slightly better at 84.3% compared to 81.1% which led to more shots on target (three to two) and off (four to two).
Pep Guardiola spoke about Arsenal’s pressing game following the match, with the visitors playing with just one centre-back up against Erling Haaland and a spare defender pushing onto midfielders Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan.
Pushing up the pitch meant that the visitors had the territorial advantage with 55.6% and it led to more crosses with 14 to City’s seven.
Of course, the most important statistic from Ake was that he provided the match-winning moment with his lovely finish from Jack Grealish’s pullback.
But it was an all-round impressive performance from the left-back who continues to earn praise from Guardiola.
Ake’s passing in particular stood out with a 91% success rate, better than any City player to complete 90 minutes, while his forward half pass completion rate was 100%.
The 27-year-old also won three tackles with only Rico Lewis, with four, making more on either side while his six recoveries were only bettered by Rodri, in the match, with eight.
“He played good, he never complains. Last season he didn’t play much but in training he always does it,” Guardiola said after the game.
“As managers you want a player like Nathan, he deserves all the best in his life and in his profession.”
City have now won 14 of our 17 meetings with Arsenal in all competitions under Guardiola, equalling Burnley’s record as the team with the most defeats to the boss since he took charge.
Friday night’s win also ended a run of four successive defeats to the Gunners in the FA Cup, with Guardiola’s two losses against them, both coming in the competition.
The Etihad has been an enjoyable place to watch FA Cup football with City winning our last 10 matches here, scoring a total of 41 goals.
But Guardiola said that not too much can be read into the 1-0 win ahead of what could be two huge games against the Premier League leaders later in the season.
“The FA Cup is an important competition, and we are so satisfied, but this [result] will be forgotten by them when we are there,” he said.
Everyone will be hoping for good news over John Stones’ injury after he was substituted just before half-time.
Arsenal played with three high up the pitch and tried to unsettle our defenders with their press.
But Stones was typically unruffled completing 100% of his passes as well as winning every tackle he made.
Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka and Albert Lokonga also had a 100% pass success rate but they only made 34 passes between them – only one more in total than Stones, who unfortunately didn’t make it to the break.