A brilliant performance by Phil Foden against Cardiff City led Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City to the top of the Premier League on Wednesday.
Very rarely do you find an offensive midfielder with the capacity to create a certain balance on his squad that helps everybody create beautiful football, young Phil Foden is that type of player and Pep Guardiola gave him a unique opportunity on Manchester City’s attempt to take the Premier League’s top spot against Cardiff City.
The young player’s influence in the game became apparent from the very early minutes of the game at Etihad Stadium, as the Citizens created at least seven clear chances before the first goal of the match came in the seventh minute of the match: that is one chance per minute if you wanted to take note.
Foden was right in the middle of this amazing offensive display, the kid felt incredibly comfortable and he reminded us of Guardiola’s days next to Andres Iniesta as manager and player.
Even though Foden wasn’t really involved in any of the two goals that Manchester City scored against Cardiff last night, the youngster completely earned a permanent position within Guardiola’s roster for the upcoming important matches that the Citizens will have to play during their attempt to win the Quadruple by the end of the season.
Pep Guardiola was full of praise for Phil Foden as the 18-year-old shone on his first Premier League start.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) April 3, 2019
There was no question that Pep Guardiola was very impressed with the first-ever Premier League start that he decided to grant Foden.
The Catalan manager explained how complicated ascending to the top of the midfield options will be for the young player, but his many opportunities this season prove that Guardiola likes what he can give to the squad.
“Even though he is a young player he is able to do everything. Every game he creates chances,” said Guardiola via BBC Sport.
“He has played a lot of minutes [966 this season],” he added.
“This was not his first official game with us. He is part of the group – last season he trained with us, played sometimes, but this season, every training day, every single day he is in the locker room so he is part of the group and everything and he feels that.”
“He is an exceptional player but at the same time it is not easy for him, playing in David Silva’s position, Kevin de Bruyne’s position, with Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva,” he continued.
“But he has passion and he wants to be here. We are delighted he is here. I assure you next season he is going to play more minutes than he has this season, and that is the process – you know, calm, and [nearly] 19 years old.”
🗣| Pep Guardiola:
"Foden is an exceptional player. It’s not easy for him but he's patient and we're delighted he's here."
— City Central (@City_CentraI) April 3, 2019
Breezing through to the Premier League’s top
Manchester City had one less match than Liverpool, a victory against Cardiff today meant that they would recover the top of the league before next weekend and Pep Guardiola didn’t want to let this opportunity slip their hands.
The Catalan manager didn’t have Sergio Aguero due to a recent injury he suffered, but he did have Gabriel Jesus in his place and the Brazilian didn’t disappoint.
The first goal came early in the match after Aymeric Laporte set Kevin de Bruyne up with a pass between the lines, the Belgian midfielder attempted a shot with no angle from the left flank and scored the first goal of the evening in spectacular fashion.
Just before the break came the second goal, with a great long-range goal scored by Leroy Sane after a gorgeous chest assist provided by Gabriel Jesus.
This 2-0 result was more than enough for Manchester City to hold their ground through the second half against Cardiff City, they created many more opportunities led by Foden and company but they weren’t able to produce more goals.
Regardless of the relatively shy result, the Citizens are back at the top of the table and they depend on themselves to win the Premier League by the end of the season.
Phil Foden's full Premier League debut by numbers:
93% pass accuracy
3 chances created
Pep Guardiola: "He's ready." pic.twitter.com/QsMoFRd4w3
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 3, 2019
What did you think about Phil Foden’s performance against Cardiff City last night? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.