Belfast Telegraph

De Bruyne toasts Foden's impact at Man City as Guardiola tips teen to make mark in first-team

Big plans: Pep Guardiola sang Phil Foden’s praises
Big plans: Pep Guardiola sang Phil Foden’s praises

By Andy Hampson

Manchester City goalscorer Kevin De Bruyne hailed the performance of his team-mate Phil Foden.

Foden sparkled on his full Premier League debut as City returned to the Premier League summit.

De Bruyne and Leroy Sane struck in a comfortable 2-0 win over relegation-threatened Cardiff. The quadruple-chasing champions were hardly tested by their lacklustre visitors and eased to victory with goals early and late in the first half.

The result lifted Pep Guardiola's side a point above Liverpool with both teams having six games to play.

Cardiff's situation, by contrast, is perilous.

The Bluebirds are now five points adrift of safety with no games in hand on any of their relegation rivals.

De Bruyne saluted Foden, saying: "He's doing very well, he's very talented. It's difficult, there's a lot of pressure on him to play. Our team is world class, to come in the team you have to prove yourself and that's what he's doing when he's playing on the field."

The Belgian believes you cannot compare Foden's early career to his own and admitted the England youngster may have a decision to make on his future.

"Every career is on its own. I started in a different team and a different level," De Bruyne added. "I played probably more games than Phil did but probably on a level that's maybe a little bit lower than this one.

"It's a different situation, if he's happy here and he's playing enough time, he should stay with us and keep working but in the end, it's his decision. If he's here we are going to help him."

Teenager Foden was pleased with his showing.

"It was good to get the start today," he said. "It was a dream come true starting in the Premier League. I just tried to put a smile on my face and enjoy it."

The 18-year-old felt he was unlucky not to be on the scoresheet.

He said: "Think I needed a bit of Kev's luck today. I don't think it was my day but it doesn't matter, as long as the lads won that's the main thing.

"I thought I did well, little mistake at the end is something to learn from but I'm just improving every day."

Guardiola is certain that Foden is ready to make a big impression on the first team.

"He's so young, 18 years old but he looks like he has a lot of experience," Guardiola added.

"We know he has to play and play with us. We don't have any problems because we know he is going to play good.

"He's a guy who always has chances, he always is there. He's ready, he's absolutely ready to play with us.

"He did everything well. He competes with David Silva, Kevin, (Ilkay) Gundogan, Bernardo (Silva). He trains incredible."

Asked whether the injured Sergio Aguero would be fit for the FA Cup semi-final against Brighton on Saturday, Guardiola replied: "We will see."

Cardiff boss Neil Warnock said the early goal was a significant blow.

"I don't think they could've given us any more," he said.

"I was disappointed to concede early doors.

"They move it so quick it is difficult.

"It would have been interesting if we scored at the end to see how nervous we could have made them, but I have to be pleased."

Belfast Telegraph


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