Phil Foden to the fore for Man City, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Phil Foden to the fore for Man City

Teen earns praise from manager, teammate and pundits after match-winning goal against Spurs

Phil Foden's first English Premier League goal earned him widespread praise and ensured Manchester City edged past Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 on Saturday to return to the top of the English Premier League and avenge their Champions League elimination by Mauricio Pochettino's side.

City's 10th successive league win moved them one point clear of Liverpool, before the Reds' match against Cardiff City last night, and ensured the champions remain masters of their own fate in the title race.

City struck early when Foden headed home on five minutes after a clever ball back across goal from Sergio Aguero.

The 18-year-old Englishman is now the third-youngest City scorer in the EPL, after Micah Richards and Daniel Sturridge.

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    Manchester City have won their last 10 English Premier League matches.

When Silva was handed the Man-of-the-Match award after the win, he passed it on to his young midfield teammate saying: "No, I would like to hand it over to Phil because I honestly think he deserves it.

"He's so young, he's a fantastic player and this one's for you.

"He scored the winner, so congratulations."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, meanwhile, joked that he was a genius for starting Foden.

He said: "I am a genius because I selected Phil and he scored a goal.

"He is an incredibly talented player but we need to handle him in the right moment.

"Today we needed his capacity to press high and he has quality to arrive in the box.

"He always gets chances to score when plays.

"It is not easy to play against Eric Dier and Dele Alli and (it) was an incredible experience for him. We trust him."

Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy praised Guardiola's decision to trust Foden in such a crucial game.

He wrote in his Daily Mail column: "Guardiola was brave in picking 18-year-old Phil Foden while Leroy Sane, David Silva and Fernandinho were on the bench. It surprised me, but it worked. That is why Guardiola is so good at what he does."

His former England teammate Gary Neville, however, said that City could not afford to ignore Foden any longer.

He said on Sky Sports: "Foden's selection is an indication of faith, but it has come to the point where they cannot hold him back.

"Guardiola has reached the point where he's realised this is the moment, and he's handed him his second Premier League start in such a massive game.

"The feedback I've been getting from the club over the past few weeks is that they may as well stop having an academy if this lad doesn't get his chance!"

Fellow former England player Jamie Redknapp likened Foden's close control to that of his teammates Bernardo Silva and David Silva but added that his goal threat gave him an extra dimension to his game.

He said on Sky Sports: "I like him a lot and there are so many elements to his game - he takes the ball in tight areas, a bit like Bernardo Silva and David Silva.

"But there is an element to his game which I really like when he gets into the box. I said before the game that he really wants to score goals, he is hungry to get into the box.

"So if you have got that as a midfield player…. because so many midfield players now tend to keep the ball, they pass it, they go sideways.

"But he wants to get in there, he will score goals if he carries on doing that.

"What a moment for him, the winning goal in one of the biggest games of their season."

While Foden's performance left City with lots of positives, their joy was muted by another injury to Kevin de Bruyne, who went off late in the first half and will almost certainly miss Thursday morning's (Singapore time) trip to Manchester United.