Pep Guardiola has lavished praise on “serious player” Phil Foden, but urged caution that he has to continue to progress.
Foden helped Manchester City edge closer to regaining the Premier League title, scoring a goal and delivering an impressive all-round display in a 2-1 win over Aston Villa.
City fell behind inside 20 seconds, but Foden drew them level with a neat finish before Rodri sealed the win that moved them 11 points clear at the top of the table.
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Foden was a scourge for Villa all night, with their players resorting to tactical fouls to stop him in his tracks; Matty Cash was dismissed for a reckless challenge on the England international.
Guardiola feels it is testament to the player that Foden has become that opposition teams are so aggressive, but wants him to continue to progress.
“He is growing,” Guardiola told Sky Sports. “He is making steps forward every time.

Phil Foden of Manchester City celebrates with Rodrigo after scoring their side's first goal during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Manchester City at Villa Park on April 21, 2021 in Birmingham, England.

Image credit: Getty Images

“His influence on our game is massive right now. He scored a goal, provoked three yellow cards and in the final third I have the feeling he is always creating.
“He is becoming a serious player.”
While being hugely impressed by Foden, Guardiola pointed to players in the past who excelled as teenagers but disappeared from the scene by their late 20s.
“There are guys at 19, 20 who are unstoppable but when they are 29, 30 they are not,” Guardiola said.
“Players make what they are on the pitch and that dictates who they are. Phil right now is becoming so important.
“His influence in the final third is so important. He can play inside, out wide, and is so aggressive with the ball.”
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