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Phil Foden dazzles against Brighton while offering a solution through the middle for Pep Guardiola

Phil Foden dazzles against Brighton while offering a solution through the middle for Pep Guardiola

Man City grind Brighton express to a halt

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City tonight sent a reminder to their biggest Premier League rivals that the current holders are alive and well on the domestic front, after they dispatched of Graham Potter’s upstart Brighton outfit 4-1 at the American Express Community Stadium, with England international” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Phil Foden

dazzling on the night.

City went 3-0 to the good before the half-time interval, putting the match beyond doubt in the first 45-minutes, with a Foden brace securing all three points before Brighton pegged one back in the second-half through Argentine Alexis Mac Allister.

Guardiola was stubborn in his post-match comments when questioned about the center-forward situation at the Etihad by SkySports, explaining;

“Sky, I’m gonna tell you something. One day we’ll lose and you’ll ask me, ‘Do you need a striker’. I bet you whatever you want. I don’t buy this question.” (quote via @_joebray)

But when asked about Foden and his scintillating performance on the evening, Pep’s answer was short and sweet;

Well, I would say I like Phil Foden everywhere…” 

Foden on song as England youngster offers tactical solution

Despite City’s stellar result which took them second in the table and ahead of Liverpool who are set to clash with Manchester United tomorrow at Old Trafford, the night belonged to Phil Foden, who has come on strong this season after missing the opening four fixtures in 2021-22 with a foot injury.

The England youngster now has 3-goals and 2-assists in just four Premier League outings as a center forward, with Foden – despite the small sample size – potentially offering a solution for the tactical question that ails Man City as they look for the long term replacement of Sergio Agüero.

Phil Foden

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – APRIL 20: Phil Foden of Manchester City celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s first goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad Stadium on April 20, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Former City defender Micah Richards could not speak highly enough of Foden during post-match commentary;

“It’s a fluid system. There’s been so much talk about whether Man City should play with a striker, but when they play like that today you see why they can compete without a striker. When you have players like Foden who wants to press and drop deeper, it works.

People were asking if he was a flash in pan, but he’s getting goals assists, showing everyone what he can do. He got lucky with second tonight but he’s a really special talent. He has a manager who believes in him. Some pundits even were saying he should go on loan but he’s persevered with [Guardiola].”

Jamie Redknapp also heaped praise on both Foden and Guardiola after proceedings concluded on the south coast, lauding the influence of foreign managers on young English talents, and how the nation can benefit as a result;

“The experience of working with Guardiola and [other players with] coaches like [Thomas] Tuchel and [Jurgen] Klopp is vital. Learning new skills, new tactics and taking on information. That can only help English football kick on.”

Though Foden could have taken a different root akin to Jadon Sancho – who left City for Borussia Dortmund in search of an immediate option to start at a high level – the midfielder opted to bide his time, worked hard under Guardiola, reached a valuable level of technical standard and tactical versatility, and is now reaping the rewards.

Note: Richards and Redknapp quotes courtesy of the Independent.

This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Chelsea FC 14 27 33
2 Manchester City 14 21 32
3 Liverpool FC 14 31 31
4 West Ham United 14 8 24
5 Arsenal FC 14 -3 23
6 Tottenham Hotspur 13 -4 22
7 Manchester United 14 0 21
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 14 0 21
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 14 -2 19
10 Leicester City 14 -3 19
11 Crystal Palace 14 -1 16
12 Brentford FC 14 -2 16
13 Aston Villa 14 -4 16
14 Everton FC 14 -7 15
15 Leeds United 14 -7 15
16 Southampton FC 14 -7 15
17 Watford FC 14 -7 13
18 Burnley FC 13 -6 10
19 Norwich City 14 -20 10
20 Newcastle United 14 -14 7

Premier League 21/22

Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 13
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 7
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 6
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 6
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 6
Raphinha Leeds United 6
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 5
King, Joshua Watford FC 5
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 5
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 5
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 5
Pukki, Teemu Norwich City 5
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United 5
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 5
Cornet, Maxwel Burnley FC 5
Sarr, Ismaila Watford FC 5
James, Reece Chelsea FC 4
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 4