Guardiola notices major growth from Foden, declares City star ‘serious player’

Pep Guardiola described Phil Foden as a “serious player” after his goal established Manchester City’s comeback victory over Aston Villa.

City have taken another step towards the Premier League title with a 2-1 win at Villa Park. They conceded in 21 seconds, but then took the lead via goals from Foden and Rodri. The task became more difficult when John Stones was sent off, but Villa also saw a player receiving a red card after the break and City held on.

Now just three wins away from being Premier League champions, City quickly overcame the disappointment of being knocked out of the FA Cup this weekend.

Guardiola insisted that the league title is the “most important” trophy for them.

He said Sky Sports: “We played very well. After 10 against 11 and after [Villa defender Matty] Money was sent, it was a very good performance.

“The Premier League is the most important title to win.

“We controlled the game 10 against 10. It was late [John Stones’ challenge] but the intention was no.

“Now because we won I’m happy. If we had lost, I would be miserable.

“We had a good game.”

The game was another significant step forward for Foden in terms of development. The England international has had to help fill the void left by David Silva this season, but he’s maturing every week.

Guardiola was enthusiastic: “This guy is growing up. His influence in our games is enormous.

“He’s becoming a serious player. Phil is becoming such an important player. His influence in the last third is so important.

Fernandinho echoes Foden’s praise

Someone else who was impressed with Foden’s performance was captain Fernandinho.

He said Sky: “I’ve known him for about five years, since he was a little boy and he showed his quality, no doubt about it.

“He’s matured and takes the stocks better, chooses the best stocks, scored today and he’s been great, so happy and happy for him because he’s a nice boy and he deserves the best.

The skipper was also starting to think about getting his hands on the Premier League trophy.

He added: “I am happy for the team, the players and everyone at the club because we have fought a lot to get to this point, in every training session and we are so close.

“We just need to focus and concentrate. There are five games left and we’ll see what happens. “

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