Guardiola heaps praise on ‘serious player’ for Man City

Lewis Oldham
Guardiola F365
Pep Guardiola Man City

Man City boss Pep Guardiola insisted that his side played “so good” against Aston Villa as they edged closer to reclaiming the Premier League title.

There was a hectic start as Villa took a surprise lead after just 20 seconds. They immediately broke up the pitch and Ollie Watkins fed in John McGinn who finished well past Ederson.

City responded well to going behind, though, and they grabbed a deserved equaliser in the 22nd minute. The ball eventually found its way to Phil Foden in the box and he rounded off a superb team move to equalise.

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They took the lead before the break. Villa were unable to clear Foden’s corner as the ball fell to Bernardo Silva on the right flank. He dinked it into the area towards Rodri, who headed it home past Emiliano Martinez.

Both teams went down to ten men at Villa Park. John Stones was shown a straight red card before half time. Matty Cash later received his second yellow for a challenge on Foden.

City kept their lead intact to move eleven points clear at the top of the Premier League. As cited by BBC Sport, Guardiola suggested that his side “controlled the game” against Villa:

“We played so good,” Guardiola said. “After 10 against 11 and after Cash was sent off, it was a really good performance. The Premier League is the most important title to win.

“We controlled the game when it was 10 against 10. It was late [John Stones’ challenge] but the intention was no. Now because we have won I am happy. If we had lost I’d be unhappy.


“We did a good game. This guy [Phil Foden] is growing. His influence in our games is massive. He’s becoming a serious player. Phil right now is becoming such an important player. His influence in the final third is so important.”

City captain Fernandinho also took time to laud Foden after the game.

“They started well and scored in the first minute but after that we recovered possession and controlled the game and turned it around in the first half and the second half was tough, we were one man down. But at the end it was a good game and we’re happy for another victory.”

“I’ve known [Foden] for about five years, since he was a little boy and he’s showed his quality, no doubt about that. He’s matured and taking the actions better, chooses better actions, scored today and he’s been awesome so pleased and happy for him because he’s a nice boy and deserves the best.”