Manchester City's Pep Guardiola praises Phil Foden for 'incredible' play
MANCHESTER, England -- Pep Guardiola insists he has no doubts about Phil Foden after the 18-year-old helped Manchester City to a 2-1 victory over Hoffenheim to secure top spot in their group.
With a mini-injury crisis at the Etihad Stadium, Foden was given his first Champions League start of the season and the City boss said he made the most of his opportunity.
"Phil was incredible the way he played," Guardiola told a news conference. "I would never have doubts about the quality of that guy -- not just with the ball.
"He looks skinny, not strong, but he's really really strong. He's an outstanding young player, I think England has a diamond.
"I know it's not easy when you are with the big clubs. Few 18-year-olds could play regularly, competing with Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and David Silva. He's special, he has had minutes and in the future will have a lot of them. He played like a real man -- he was so good."
De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero trained with the first team ahead of the clash with Hoffenheim but were not risked on Wednesday night. They could both be in contention for Saturday's early kick-off with Everton as they try to overtake Liverpool in the Premier League following their first defeat of the season against Chelsea.
"When you lose it's important to break [the run] immediately," he added. "Now in less than 61 hours we have another game against Everton at 12.30 p.m."
"We have to prepare and go to the fridge, sleep there and recover as quick as possible for that game."
Leroy Sane had both of City's goals on either side of half-time, the first a spectacular 30-yard free kick. The German winger appeared to be barracked by the travelling Hoffenheim fans but Guardiola said he was unaware of any incident and says it's up to UEFA to deal with any problems.
"You have to fight for human rights and democracy of the human being but I don't know if anything happened," he added. "It happened it's bad news but I don't know. If it happened it's not nice and UEFA will take a look at that. I have nothing to add."