Pep Guardiola praises ‘aggressive’ Phil Foden after first start in a month


Pep Guardiola has praised Phil Foden’s performance in our frustrating Premier League draw with Nottingham Forest.

City, who had moved to the top of the Premier League table with a win over Arsenal in midweek, lost key ground in the race for the title at the City Ground on Saturday afternoon.

Guardiola’s side took the lead through Bernardo Silva’s sublime strike, but after a series of missed chances, conceded in the 84th minute to fall to another frustrating 1-1 draw.

Despite registering 23 attempts, the Blues failed to covert a host of the second half chances, as Aymeric Laporte, Phil Foden and Erling Haaland all missed glorious opportunities against a resolute Forest side.

The result leaves the Blues two points behind the Gunners having played one game more than the North London club, and also means Manchester United sit just three points off of City in third place.

The England international made a bright return to the side, however skewed a brilliant chance to double City’s lead early into the second half.

Reflecting on the 22 year-olds return to the team post-match, Guardiola was pleased with what he saw from City’s ‘aggressive’ Academy graduate.

“He played really good,” he said.

“First half he was so aggressive against [Renan] Lodi and he arrived many times to the byline.

“Still he didn’t have the pause or composure that he had because it’s normal because he didn’t play much. Everything today was so aggressive and he played really good.”

Throughout an action-packed winter schedule, Guardiola has often reshaped his forward line in a bid to preserve his players’ fitness.

As a result, influential figures – including Foden – have had to bide their time for opportunities since the return from the World Cup in December.

And the boss reassured the English attacker and his colleagues that chances will present themselves if they maintain their high standards in training as we continue to fight on three fronts.

He added: “He has to compete with Riyad (Mahrez) who’s playing really well, and the other players..

“He trained really well with the other players. The competition is for them.

“What I have to say is don’t be frustrated, perform as best as possible. And after that it will be easy.”

Manchester City are back in action on Wednesday, resuming their UEFA Champions League campaign against RB Leipzig in Germany.

The Champions will then look to bounce back in the Premier League with a trip to Bournemouth on Saturday evening.

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