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Pep Guardiola lavished praise on Phil Foden’s performance in Manchester City’s 0-0 Champions League draw at Porto.

Nevertheless, the stalemate saw the Premier League side secure top spot in Group C with a game to spare.

Foden has started four successive Champions League matches, although the England midfielder has been a substitute for City’s past five domestic outings.

Speaking to BT Sport, Guardiola seemed to acknowledge the growing clamour for the 20-year-old to become a permanent fixture in his first XI, irrespective of the opponents or competition.

“What a player, what a player,” he said when asked about Foden’s display.

“His intensity and he always creates things. He was so good, I’m delighted with his performance.”

Foden made two key passes and his four completed crosses accounted for half of City’s total as they chipped away at a resolute Porto backline.

He won six out of eight duels and drew three fouls – more than any other City player during a combative contest – although none of his team-mates lost possession more often than Foden (23 times).

After the 5-0 weekend win over Burnley, Guardiola told his players they would be making a “mistake” if they felt their absence from his line-ups was solely down to rotation.

However, he told a post-match news conference that he was keen for a number of his squad to find their “rhythm” after being in and out of the side.

“I think a few players need rhythm, like Bernardo Silva, Oleks Zinchenko, Fernandinho and Joao,” he said.

“I wanted to give them minutes for the rhythm. I have to know that I can trust the players. Now it is time to focus on the Premier League.”

Guardiola added: “We played with huge personality, with courage. It’s not easy with eight defensive players in the box. They are so strong with the full-backs, they are so fast.

“Even with that, we created enough chances to win. This is the most important thing.”


Source : goal.com