Pep Guardiola praises (and criticises) Phil Foden after fine display in 4-1 win over Liverpool

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Pep Guardiola praised Phil Foden after his man of the match performance in Manchester City’s 4-1 win over Liverpool, but said that the midfielder must learn to ‘understand the game a little bit better’.

The fine result moved City five points clear at the top of the Premier League table with a game in hand over all of their closest opponents. After Ilkay Gundogan missed a penalty in the first half at Anfield, the visitors turned on the style after the break.

First, Gundogan made up for his miss by netting twice, either side of a Mohamed Salah spot-kick, and Raheem Sterling made it 3-1 soon after. Foden then scored the goal of the game to add some gloss to the scoreline, cutting in from the right-hand side and smashing a shot into the top corner.

He also assisted one of Gundogan’s strikes, and Guardiola reflected on his potentially career-defining display after the game.

“In the first half we struggled a lot to find him, he was not in the position he should be,” he said (via the Daily Mail). “When playing in the middle he sometimes has some difficulty understanding where he needs to be and where he needs to move, right now he is moving perfectly on the sides as a winger.

“Of course the second and fourth goal were outstanding, phenomenal and look at the quality there. We cannot forget he is only 20 years old and has an incredible margin to improve. I know he is a guy who is so calm and if he stays in the position he has to stay and he will improve.

“I still feel he has a margin to understand the game a little bit better. We are lucky. For Manchester City fans and the people from the academy to have someone who grew up in our academy and grew up supporting us, was a ball boy for us and has now become a top, top footballer for us is a joy.”

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