MX23RW : Monday, August 3 06:28:05| >> :120:25869:25869:
Sep 25, 2018 at 7.45pm UK at Kassam Stadium
Attendance: 11,956
Oxford UtdOxford United
0-3
Man CityManchester City
FT(HT: 0-1)
Jesus (36'), Mahrez (78'), Foden (90')

Pep Guardiola plays down Andres Iniesta comparison for Phil Foden

Foden scored one and made the other two against Oxford.

Pep Guardiola believes Phil Foden can be a Manchester City star for the next decade – but refused to liken the midfielder to former Barcelona ace Andres Iniesta.

Foden ran the show as holders City eased into the fourth round of the Carabao Cup with a 3-0 win at Oxford on Tuesday night.

The 18-year-old played a part in goals for Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez before rounding off the victory with his first senior strike.

Dubbed by City supporters as the 'Stockport Iniesta', Oxford boss Karl Robinson also drew comparisons with the former Spain international – who has won a World Cup and four Champions League titles during an illustrious career.

Guardiola did not want to burden Foden with such a parallel but feels the England Under-19 international can become a long-term regular at the Etihad Stadium.

"Wow. These are big, big words. I have said many times we are delighted with Phil," Guardiola said of Robinson's likeness.

"I am not going to say he is going to become Andres Iniesta because it puts pressure on him, Iniesta is by far one of the best players I ever saw in my life so we cannot put the pressure on Phil.

"But he has the quality to stay here for 10 years because I think he wants to stay, I think the club wants him to. But step by step, he needs to play regularly, but I think he has all the skills to play with us."

Robinson was suitably impressed enough by Foden's display to make the Iniesta connection and also pleaded with other clubs to hold on to talented, smaller players.

Karl Robinson
Karl Robinson was impressed by the display of Phil Foden (Chris Radburn/PA)

"We planned to press, and after three-and-a-half minutes, we had three of ours pressed that one player. I think I blinked, the next thing he was through them," he said.

"His ability, his orientation of himself on the football is genius. These are things when you're working with young players, that you find that only very few coaching sessions can really bring that out. There's a naturalness to that. And it's something I've not seen for a long time.

"You'd almost put him in the same bracket as when you see... I remember seeing Barcelona live and seeing Iniesta playing in those sort of positions. He's almost like that. He's small.

"So please academies, don't release small talented players. There's a home for them in our country. We can grow them, we can develop them, we can aid them."

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Phil Foden in action for Manchester City on April 22, 2018
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Guardiola avoids Foden, Iniesta comparison
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CLiverpool38323385335299
2Manchester CityMan City382639102356781
3Manchester UnitedMan Utd381812866363066
4Chelsea382061269541566
5Leicester CityLeicester381881267412662
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs3816111161471459
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves381514951401159
8Arsenal381414105648856
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd381412123939054
10Burnley38159144350-754
11Southampton38157165160-952
12Everton381310154456-1249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381111163858-2044
14Crystal Palace381110173150-1943
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914153954-1541
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham38109194962-1339
17Aston Villa3898214167-2635
RBournemouth3897224065-2534
RWatford38810203664-2834
RNorwich CityNorwich3856272675-4921

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