Guardiola hails ‘aggressive’ Phil Foden after first start in a month


Phil Foden was among Manchester City’s best against Nottingham Forest, according to Pep Guardiola.

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola praised Phil Foden for his “aggressive” display in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest, which marked his first start in a month.

Foden had been consigned to the bench in City’s past four league games, coming on as a substitute in three of them, but got the nod from the start against Forest.

The 22-year-old English midfielder impressed Guardiola, having not started since City’s Manchester derby loss to United on January 14.

“He played really good,” Guardiola said. “First half he was so aggressive against [Renan] Lodi and he arrived many times to the byline.

“Still he didn’t have the poise or composure that he had because it’s normal, because he didn’t play much.

“Everything today was so aggressive and he played really good.”

The Spaniard assured that Foden, along with other players who have been rotated lately, will get their chances.

“He has to compete with everyone else,” Guardiola said. “He trained really well with the other players. The competition is for them.

“What I have to say is don’t be frustrated, perform as best as possible. And after that it will be easy.”

Saturday’s draw came despite City generating 23 shots compared to Forest’s four, with six on target.

Guardiola felt his side did not get what they “deserved” but lamented their failure to capitalise on the chances they generated, referencing their midweek 3-1 win over Arsenal, who re-claimed top spot with their 4-2 win over Aston Villa.

“When I see expected goals after the game and the way we played and the chances we concede or create, always we are there, we are on top,” he said.

“Arsenal played really good but they shot one shot or two chances in general. We try to play to create more chances, not concede goals and be as stable as a team. In general we have been there most of the games.

“I don’t think we got what we deserved but football is not about getting what you deserve. At the end, you have to score the goals.”