Liverpool 1-4 Man City: Phil Foden ‘a huge talent but can improve’

Liverpool 1-4 Man City: Phil Foden ‘a huge talent but can improve’

Phil Foden is a “huge talent” but can “still improve”, says Pep Guardiola after the midfielder’s star showing in Manchester City’s 4-1 win at Liverpool.

Foden, 20, had a hand in three goals as City opened up a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

Alisson’s save from Foden was converted by Ilkay Gundogan, but he set up the German’s second goal as well as netting a stunning fourth in a superb showing.

“When you beat the champions everyone’s confidence goes sky high,” said Foden.

“They made it so difficult for us but we showed our courage to play our football and keep going, and in the end it paid off.”

Guardiola impressed by Man City commitment

City were helped by two blunders from Reds goalkeeper Alisson, with Raheem Sterling also profiting, and Foden’s thumping finish took his tally to 10 goals in all competitions this season.

Guardiola said: “Phil Foden is a guy who keeps the ball really well, he arrives so aggressive but he is also still so young. When he plays wide it is more easy for him, he will learn.

“The action for the second goal and the fourth goal, we know what a huge talent he is but he is still young and hopefully he can understand he can still improve.”

Where has Foden shown most improvement?

Not only have Foden’s performances improved since making his City debut in November 2017, but the number of goal contributions have also increased year on year.

He failed to score in 10 games in his first season, providing one assist, but has now reached double figures for goals in a season for the first time.

In 28 games in all competitions this term, he has 16 goal involvements – 10 goals, six assists – having had 17 in 38 last season.

Games played Minutes played Goals Assists
2017-18 10 330 0 1
2018-19 26 1,112 7 2
2019-20 38 1,741 8 9
2020-21 28 1,926 10 6

Former Premier League midfielder Robbie Savage said on BBC Radio 5 Live: “Foden could play anywhere on the park, left-back, right-back – I’m not sure he’d have the discipline for centre-half but he could probably make it work.

“There are videos out there of him playing in his local park doing tricks and he actually plays like that in the Premier League, it’s unbelievable. His best work was out wide today and it was magnificent.”

‘The job isn’t done’

City are now strong favourites to clinch the title, five points clear of rivals Manchester United and 10 ahead of reigning champions Liverpool – Guardiola’s side also have a game in hand over both.

Gundogan, who has performed brilliantly in the absence of Kevin de Bruyne and scored 11 goals, said: “Phil deserves all the credit, he’s doing really well. Compared to last season he has stepped his game up.

“He is still so young, we can’t forget that, a lot to come from him. Very happy to have him in our team, he gives us an incredible quality and great to see a young kid playing so well.”

On Sunday’s potentially decisive result, Foden added: “It gives us every chance to go on and win [the title], but the job isn’t done and we’ve got a long way to go.”

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