MANCHESTER. — Pep Guardiola hailed his decision to hand Phil Foden just a second English Premier League football start as the 19-year-old scored the only goal in Manchester City’s 1-0 win over Tottenham to exact some revenge on their Champions League conquerors on Saturday.
Guardiola’s team selection for the first leg of his side’s Champions League quarter-final against Tottenham, that ended in a 1-0 defeat, was criticised as, despite winning a thrilling second leg 4-3 on Wednesday, the English champions bowed out on away goals.
The omission of Kevin de Bruyne, and inclusion of Fabian Delph, for the first leg was even more questioned after the Belgian created a hat-trick of assists in midweek.
However, Guardiola’s reasoning for being cautious with his playmaker after an injury-plagued season seemed to have been justified as De Bruyne limped off again just before the break and may well miss the rest of the campaign.
In his absence, Foden may have a big part to play in City’s remaining five games as they remain on course to complete the first ever domestic treble in English football.
“Now I am a genius,” Guardiola said with a hint of sarcasm. “He scored a goal. How good is the manager?
“And after playing Delph in London (I) was a disaster, that’s how it works.
“Phil is an incredibly talented player. Every time he plays he scores a goal or has the chances.”
For all their Champions League heroics, Tottenham still have much to do to qualify for the competition next season as they could easily end the Easter weekend outside the top four. — AFP.