‘Foden Is Everywhere’


Pep Guardiola called Phil Foden an “exceptional” player after the midfielder’s hat trick inspired Manchester City to a 3-1 victory over Brentford in west London on Monday, adding: “always he is there.”

City had looked as if they might be frustrated by Brentford after Neal Maupay put the home side in front in the 21st minute and goalkeeper Mark Flekken made a string of saves to deny the reigning champions.

But Foden equalised for City on the stroke of half-time before securing all three points for his side with two more goals in the second half to complete his hat trick.

The victory meant City moved within two points of league leaders Liverpool, having played one game fewer than Jurgen Klopp’s team.

“We needed it [Foden’s performance] today,” Guardiola told a news conference. “I think Phil is playing … the most [influential] season for the team in terms of goals, assists. How he played simple, how he can be more aggressive. He has the pleasure to score the goals and the threat when he’s close to their box. Always he is there.

“So he’s an exceptional, exceptional player. He is [young] and already has more than 250 games for City, that shows the impact he has had since he arrived.”

Foden’s hat trick was the second that he has scored in the Premier League — his first coming against Manchester United on October 2, 2022.

“I don’t know his limits,” Guardiola said. “He will decide. For him, football is the most important thing of his life. Of course aside from his family and kids, it is the most important thing.

“It depends on him, but he enjoys a lot. He loves to play football. When you see players like him playing in the street when you are a little boy, you have this sense of amateurism [in the way he plays].”