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Manchester City logo
Premier League | Gameweek 27
Mar 3, 2024 at 3.30pm UK
Etihad Stadium
Manchester United logo

Man City
3 - 1
Man Utd

Foden (56', 80'), Haaland (90+1')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Rashford (8')
ten Hag (57'), Varane (68')

Pep Guardiola labels Phil Foden the best player in Premier League after Manchester derby brace

Guardiola labels Foden the best player in PL after Manchester derby brace
© Reuters
Pep Guardiola labels Phil Foden as the best player in the Premier League after the attacker scored twice in Manchester City's 3-1 win over rivals Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has labelled Phil Foden as the best player in the Premier League after the attacker scored twice to help the Citizens beat rivals Manchester United 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Despite boasting 74% possession, 18 shots on goal and 12 corners in the first 45 minutes, Man City entered the break behind courtesy of a sensational 25-yard strike from Marcus Rashford in the eighth minute.

However, the Citizens' dominance eventually prevailed and Foden was the catalyst behind their second-half fightback, firstly arrowing a stunning long-range strike into the top corner on the 55-minute mark before slotting a low finish beyond Andre Onana 10 minutes from time to turn the contest on its head.

Erling Haaland, who missed a sitter on the stroke of half time, made amends as he sealed maximum points for Man City and their sixth Manchester derby win in seven with a composed finish in second-half stoppage time.

Foden has now scored 18 goals in 40 appearances across all competitions for Man City this season - his most ever in a single campaign - while the only Premier League players to score more non-penalty goals than City's No.47 (18) this season are Haaland (23) and Ollie Watkins (21).

Manchester City's Phil Foden celebrates scoring their first goal on March 3, 2024© Reuters

Guardiola heaped praise on man-of-the-match Foden at his post-match press conference and was asked if he is the best player in the Premier League at present.

The Catalan said: "He is right now, this season, yes. Always I had the feeling he could score goals, in the training sessions, but now he is winning games.

"He has incredible work ethic, it doesn't matter the position he doesn't complain. But now he wins games. He lives to play football."

Guardiola added: "You see the three or four actions from Phil coming back to win the ball and recover, this is the mentality that still we have.

"That surprised me because always you have the capacity to drop. We did it today but we did it in Luton, that defines the team."

Manchester City's Phil Foden scores their second goal on March 3, 2024© Reuters

Speaking to Sky Sports about Foden, Guardiola continues: "He loves football. He lives to play. There are people who like to play. He loves to play football.

"He will already be a legendary player because in a short age, the games played, the minutes, the goals scored, the titles won and he is from the home and that is why the connection with the fans is unbelievable.

"He is the player of the season, with all the respect for incredible players but no-one has been so decisive for us as him this season."

Foden, who has scored six goals against Man United since the start of last season, added: "My aim is to turn up in the big games. That is what I want to do and I think this season I am proving that. I just need to keep working hard.

"I understand what it means for the fans – a derby at the Etihad. It means everything for me, to score as well is even better but it was about the win today."

Man City remain second in the Premier League table but have moved to within just one point of leaders Liverpool, whom they face next in a top-of-the-table showdown at Anfield next weekend.

Foden will be looking to add to his goal tally when Man City welcome Copenhagen to the Etihad for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday.

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1Manchester CityMan City32227376324473
4Aston Villa33196868491963
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs32186865491660
6Newcastle UnitedNewcastle321551269521750
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd32155124748-150
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham33139115258-648
10Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton321111105250244
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves32127134651-543
14Crystal Palace3289153754-1733
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3379174258-1626
18Luton TownLuton3367204670-2425
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd3237223084-5416

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