How Pep Guardiola has been able to rely on Phil Foden in Man City's 3-1 victory over Manchester United

mitchelldfarrell

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Not only did Phil Foden score two goals to win the Manchester derby on Sunday, but he also took control of the entire game and made it possible for his team to win.

It was Foden who made the difference and turned the game in the second half. Manchester City was trailing and wondering who was going to step up after Erling Haaland missed an absolute sitter. At that moment, Foden made the difference and altered the game.

His overall effort was spectacular during City's triumph, which they won 3-1. In terms of his physical appearance, he never appeared to become tiredd, and in general, he gave off the impression of a guy who is very much at the pinnacle of his game.

Foden is a very intelligent footballer, and he showed once more against Manchester United that his decision making is one of the things that sets him apart from other players. In addition to being extremely skilled and extremely fit, Foden is also a really talented football player.

From a positional standpoint, I mean that he should know when to dribble, when to pass, and when to shoot. Additionally, he should know when to come inside and when to maintain his width.

Since he is so comfortable playing across the line, on the left or right, or as a number 10 in Pep Guardiola's side behind Erling Haaland while Kevin de Bruyne is out, there is a debate about where he should play for City and England. However, it really doesn't matter because he is so comfortable playing in any of these positions.

As a result of his game intelligence, Foden is able to achieve the '10' position in every game he plays, and of course, he also delivers.

When you are playing in forward positions, the thing that you are always judging on is your end product, and Foden's is now as excellent as it can be at this point in time.

His current season is already the best season of his career in terms of goalscoring, with 18 goals scored across all competitions. He is also good on his way to make it the best season in terms of assists as well.

It is clear to everyone that he has made development; this is not a player who has remained stagnant through the years. He has become Guardiola's go-to player at the age of 23, and this is due to the fact that he has gotten better and better the more he has been introduced into the City club.

According to Pep, Foden is someone that Pep trusts because he is aware that he is going to be a source of goals wherever he plays. Foden has already started more Premier League games this season than he has in any prior campaign.

Therefore, the performance that took place on Sunday was not an isolated incident. Foden is excelling in a City team that is filled with people who are exceptionally talented, and at the moment, he appears to be the team's finest player.

The only individuals who are dissatisfied with his current performance are those who support Liverpool and Arsenal, because of the potential role he could play in determining the outcome of the championship tournament. Awe and excitement can be felt by everyone else in response to what they observe.

It's fantastic for City, and it's also fantastic for England. Gareth Southgate, the manager of the Three Lions, was present at Etihad Stadium on Sunday to observe Foden's performance, but I seriously doubt that he required any other confirmation of how outstanding he has been.

How the city can bring you down

Even though Foden was responsible for ensuring that City ended up getting the points, I thought that United's gameplan was actually quite the good one.

It was possible for them to make use of the speed of Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho out wide since Casemiro and Kobbie Mainoo were seated, Scott McTominay was slightly front of them, and Bruno Fernandes was playing as a false nine.

The degree of discipline, devotion, and defensive organization that United displayed was as good as I've seen from them in a significant game in a while. Once United scored their first goal, it provided them with something to cling to, and it was the positive thing that they did. Although they were able to maintain a draw at Anfield prior to Christmas, Liverpool did not put them through as much of a test as City did here.

Particularly impressive were Casemiro and Mainoo during the first half of the match; nevertheless, the entire squad put in a lot of effort, and the most impressive aspect of their formation was that they continued to pose a danger when they went on the offensive.

When the ball was sent to Bruno, his touch was outstanding and incredibly reliable, and the pace of Garnacho and Rashford was always threatening because of City's high line. Both of these features contributed to the team's success. They could have been able to extend their lead if they had played their final ball with a little bit more quality.

Therefore, there were a lot of reasons why United manager Erik ten Hag was pleased with his team's performance, but in the end, his team was defeated because they were unable to keep up their energy level in the second half and, more than anything else, because City was superior.

The fact that United made errors in the back line at the end of the game was not due to a lack of effort or laziness; rather, it was simply because they were exhausted from chasing the ball, filling spaces, and covering each other throughout the entirety of the game.

They did to United what they do to most of the teams they play against, which is to wear you down with their patience, as well as their quick play and technical ability, which simply means that they find a way through in the end. The way Manchester City comes forward is just relentless.

The first goal they scored was a fantastic illustration of that. Mainoo, who had been fantastic and is a true star of the future, was only five or six yards away from where he had been everytime Foden went inside in the first half to deny him space, but this time he wasn't quite there. Mainoo is a real star of the future. Despite the fact that it was not a very large distance, it was sufficient, and then Foden's strike is simply beyond comprehension.

With Foden's second goal, the situation remained the same. Casemiro was defeated by a sudden 'give and go' pass that appeared to be one that ought to have been prevented; nonetheless, he had already dealt with a great number of such passes. In reality, he was just exhausted; he had not failed himself in any way.

The reasons why Liverpool will be able to play for the full 90 minutes the next week

Liverpool, the team that City will face next in the Premier League, is one of the few teams that I believe is capable of competing with them physically throughout the entirety of the game. In order to stop City, you need to compete with them physically.

The team coached by Jurgen Klopp fought back to tie 1-1 at Etihad Stadium earlier in the season, and they won't have any trouble making it through the approximately 90 minutes of play, especially considering that players like Wataru Endo, Dominik Szoboszlai, and Darwin Nunez are likely to be in good shape again.

The notion of City's journey to Anfield the next weekend is, as it often is, a mouthwatering prospect, since there will be so much quality on display.

For me, it is a matter of being enthusiastic about seeing how they deal with each other since there will be a continuous back-and-forth between attack and defense. Although it is nearly impossible to forecast what will occur in these games, I am thrilled about seeing how they deal with each other.

It is not a game that will determine who wins the championship because Arsenal is still in the running for the title and might be in first place by the time that game takes place on Sunday, but it will be a significant factor in determining who wins the championship, and the Gunners are probably going to be hoping with all their might that it ends up being a draw.

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