MX23RW : Friday, December 14 03:23:59
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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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
7Everton166642319424
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
12Watford166372023-321
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249

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