Champions League

Guardiola 'unfair' on Foden as Man City close on last 16

2019-10-02 08:45
Phil Foden
Phil Foden (Getty Images)

United Kingdom - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said Phil Foden's lack of minutes for the English champions is "unfair" as the 19-year-old came off the bench to score in a 2-0 Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday.

Foden has been limited to just one start, in the League Cup against Preston, so far this season as the return of Kevin De Bruyne and signing of Rodrigo has seen the England under-21 international fall further down the pecking order.

But he made the most of barely a few minutes on the field against the Croatian champions after being introduced as a substitute in stoppage time to fire home after fellow sub Raheem Sterling had opened the scoring.

"I know he deserves to play. I want to give him minutes, every time he doesn't play I am completely unfair to him, I'm sorry," said Guardiola.

"But Kevin De Bruyne is there, David Silva, Bernardo Silva, Rodri, (Ilkay) Gundogan. It's what it is.

"I know the best way to grow up is play minutes and minutes, but he is so young.

"I don't know how many players of that age played as many minutes in the recent past he played in these last seasons with us.

"He is going to be an incredible future player for us because we count on him and we trust a lot in him."

Sterling even hopes Foden will get enough chances to shine to make a late run to be included in the England squad for next year's European Championship.

"I am buzzing for Phil and I want him in the national team," said Sterling. "If he keeps going he will be there."

However, City' local hero Foden is happy to play a patient game with such an array of midfield talent to compete with.

"You have to show the manager what you can do each day in training," said Foden. "Every young kid wants to play but you have to keep patient."

Patience pays off

City enjoyed 71 percent possession and had 19 attempts on goal, but had to wait until 24 minutes from time to make the breakthrough when Sterling rounded off an excellent team move.

The English champions have maximum points from their opening two games with back-to-back matches against bottom-of-the-group Atalanta to come.

"It was good. We didn't concede one shot on target, with our huge possession we created enough chances to score earlier, but we were patient," added Guardiola.

"We need two more victories to qualify for the last 16 and hopefully we can make against Atalanta almost the definitive step to be there."

Despite missing the injured De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva and David Silva were all guilty of missing guilt-edged chances before half-time, while Gundogan hit the bar.

Dinamo had romped to a 4-0 victory over Atalanta on matchday one, but barely ventured over the halfway line and their brave resistence was finally ended with a wonderfully worked team goal.

Rodrigo's pass opened up the Zagreb defence and Riyad Mahrez's low cross left Sterling with the simple task of forcing the ball over the line from point-blank range.

That should have alleviated City's frustrations for the night, but Guardiola was shown a yellow card by Dutch referee Serdar Gozubuyuk and cut an increasingly annoyed figure on the touchline as the hosts saw a number of penalty claims turned away.

"Nobody is going to give us anything," said Guardiola. "We did it ourselves and that's top. That's why I love this team."

There was little for the Catalan coach to be concerned about, though, as City were never in danger of conceding and finally made the game safe deep into stoppage time when Sterling led a counter-attack and teed up Foden to blast into the far corner.

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Fixtures
Tuesday, 26 November 2019
Lokomotiv Moscow v Bayer Leverkusen, Lokomotiv Stadium 19:55
Galatasaray v Club Brugge, Turk Telekom Arena 19:55
Juventus v Atletico Madrid, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Atalanta v Dinamo Zagreb, Atleti Azzurri d'Italia 22:00
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Real Madrid v Paris SG, Santiago Bernabeu 22:00
Red Star Belgrade v Bayern Munchen, Stadion Rajko Mitic 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Olympiacos, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 27 November 2019
Valencia v Chelsea, Mestalla 19:55
Zenit St. Petersburg v Lyon, Saint Petersburg Stadium 19:55
Liverpool v Napoli, Anfield 22:00
Barcelona v Borussia Dortmund, Camp Nou 22:00
Slavia Prague v Inter Milan, Eden Arena 22:00
Genk v Red Bull Salzburg, Luminus Arena 22:00
RB Leipzig v Benfica, Red Bull Arena 22:00
Lille v Ajax, Stade Pierre-Mauroy 22:00
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Red Bull Salzburg v Liverpool, Red Bull Arena 19:55
Napoli v Genk, San Paolo 19:55
Ajax v Valencia, Amsterdam ArenA 22:00
Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg, da Luz 22:00
Lyon v RB Leipzig, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Inter Milan v Barcelona, San Siro 22:00
Borussia Dortmund v Slavia Prague, Signal Iduna Park 22:00
Chelsea v Lille, Stamford Bridge 22:00
Wednesday, 11 December 2019
Dinamo Zagreb v Manchester City, Maksimir Stadium 19:55
Shakhtar Donetsk v Atalanta, Metalist Stadium 19:55
Bayern Munchen v Tottenham Hotspur, Allianz Arena 22:00
Bayer Leverkusen v Juventus, BayArena 22:00
Club Brugge v Real Madrid, Jan Breydel Stadion 22:00
Olympiacos v Red Star Belgrade, Karaiskakis Stadium 22:00
Paris SG v Galatasaray, Parc des Princes 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow, Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Saturday, 30 May 2020
TBA v TBA, Ataturk Olympic Stadium 02:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will emerge victorious in this season's Champions League?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.