Manchester City’s academy jewel Phil Foden has now matured into one of Pep Guardiola’s side’s most valuable weapons in their chase for history. Foden scored a hat trick to drive City to a vital 3-1 win over Brentford at the GTech Community Stadium overnight. While the hat trick was a sensational feat it was Foden’s overall performance that showed just how far he has come as a player.
When City went down 1-nil in the 21st minute to a Neil Maupay goal it appeared that luck may be against them on the night. The champions had dominated the opening 20 minutes but fell behind to a simple goal from Brentford. As the first half continued the champions continued to be denied by an inspired Mark Flekken in the Brentford goal. As halftime approached the champions needed someone to step up. It was their academy jewel who equalised on the stroke of halftime and changed the momentum of the match. Foden’s goal changed the mood of both team’s halftime talks. Brentford had been stubborn and defiant after taking the lead but Foden’s first goal changed the game.
The second half saw Phi Foden rise when City needed him most
Phil Foden’s second-half performance was arguably the most important of his career. While City’s academy jewel has been an important player since he broke into the first team last night saw him take his game to another level. There would be no doubt of Foden’s standing in the Manchester City squad come the full whistle.
He headed his team into the lead in the 53rd minute after an inch-perfect cross from Kevin De Bruyne. Foden ghosted into the box with a run Ilkay Gundogan made so famous to nod home to give the champions the lead. It was a goal that finally gave City the impetus to put the game to bed and Foden would do just that 17 minutes later.
In the 70th minute, the icing on the cake for Phil Foden’s master class would arrive. He combined with Erling Haaland on the edge of the box and he calmly finished the move past Mark Flekken to give City a 3-1 lead and clinch a vital three points. It was a fitting reward from an inspired display from Foden.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) February 6, 2024
Foden can drive Manchester City in their chase for history
In such a big game and moment in the season, Manchester City needed someone to step up and be counted. In seasons past, it had so often been Ilkay Gundogan who would step up in the big moments. Last night’s display from Phil Foden was something straight out of the Gundogan playbook. Pep Guardiola’s side needed a player to seize the moment and it was Foden who delivered. His runs from midfield and his finishing was reminiscent of City’s former captain at his best. Thomas Frank’s side couldn’t live with Foden and he made them pay. To compare his performance last night to that of Gundogan in seasons past is the ultimate compliment to City’s local hero.
But Phil Foden is his own player. This season has seen him take his game to another level and Manchester City are reaping the benefits. Foden is now a crucial player as Pep Guardiola’s side chases history. He has now become a leader with his play on the pitch.
Last night showed that when City needed someone to step up in a team of stars it was Foden who stood brightest. He has always been destined for the top and last night showed he is there with a match-winning and career defining performance.