Phil Foden's stunner like Hazard’s gem against Hammers: Dean Saunders, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Phil Foden's stunner like Hazard’s gem against Hammers: Dean Saunders

Former Liverpool striker compares England U-21 starlet's strike against France to Belgian playmaker's wonder goal against West Ham

Manchester City starlet Phil Foden scored a slaloming wonder goal, but England contrived to concede twice at the death to begin their European Under-21 Championship campaign with a 2-1 defeat by France yesterday morning (Singapore time).

When the 19-year-old midfielder picked up the ball in France's half in the 54th minute, he had eight players in blue and the goalkeeper blocking his route to goal.

But the playmaker wriggled his way past four players before composing himself and finishing coolly past Paul Bernardoni.

Former England defender Jamie Carragher called Foden's strike "outstanding", while England U-21 manager Aidy Boothroyd told Sky Sports: " I think some of the football was outstanding, and Foden's goal was a gem."

Former Wales striker Dean Saunders went one step further, likening Foden's moment of magic to Eden Hazard's English Premier League Goal of the Month winner for April.

The ex-Chelsea talisman's goal also featured a mazy run and calm finish.

Former Liverpool man Saunders told talkSPORT: "For me, that goal last night was as good as the goal Hazard scored, where he shifted the ball between his feet.

"It was a brilliant individual goal, but that goal last night was as good."

However, Foden played down his goal, saying "it doesn't matter" much, since his side finished their Group C opener at Stadio Dino Manuzzi in Italy empty-handed.

Said Foden: "We controlled the game until the sending-off... It doesn't matter about my goal that much because we lost the game, but we can still win our last two games and qualify."

The tie seemed to slip away from the English once Leicester City midfielder Hamza Choudhury was sent off nine minutes after Foden's opener for a wild lunge on Lille's Jonathan Bamba in the penalty box.

Lyon's Houssem Aouar slammed the resultant spot-kick onto the post.

Said Choudhury: "I just want to let everyone know that I know I have let them down...

"I remember that the ball was there to be won but, honestly, watching back, it looked like I was over-aggressive. It wasn't malicious and I didn't want to hurt him whatsoever...

"I don't think I have ever felt worse in my footballing career than I do right now."

Aouar's effort was the second penalty France spurned as Lyon striker Moussa Dembele's 25th-minute spot-kick was well saved by Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson.


The custodian, who kept the most clean sheets in the Championship while on loan at Sheffield United last season, said: "It is tough to lose out at the end after we were in control of the game for many periods.

"To take a sucker blow like that in the last minute is tough."

France's late show began in the 89th minute when Lille forward Jonathan Ikone cut in from the left and drilled a shot past Henderson.

Worse was to follow for England in the fifth minute of injury time as Crystal Palace's in-demand right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka sliced a clearance into his own goal with Henderson well-poised to claim the ball.

Said Boothroyd: "We are all very disappointed but we have no time for sulking...

"We could quite easily have gone in 3-0 (up) at half-time. I thought we were the better team by a long way in the first half.

"We tried to rally, but in the end, it was just wave after wave of attack and we couldn't get them off us."