Phil Foden was back in business after a long spell out from the team. He was barely seen to feature since the World Cup return, with injuries and poor form keeping him on the sidelines. Pep has backed Foden to return to his former self as he puts in an amazing performance against the Cherries.
The 22-year-old started the game against Bournemouth, scored one and set up another to earn his coach’s praise. “He scored a goal, he was good, he is important. We need Phil, his work ethic. He made a goal and assist. He’s so important, step by step he will be back,” Guardiola said.
Foden was dropped to the bench for the recent wins against Aston Villa and Arsenal but has now started two matches in a row for City. Guardiola explained this week why the England international has not been a constant presence in recent months, saying: “I saw other players better than him at times after the World Cup. He struggled with his ankle after the World Cup, a lot. He played an incredible effort, playing with pain and arrived at the moment when he said: ‘Pep, I cannot anymore’, so he had to rest and recover. We gave him a week or two weeks off, and after that Riyad was in his best time of the season and Jack made a step forward.”
Saturday’s game was Foden’s 200th for City and the first time in which he has scored and assisted a goal in the same match since October 2021.