Man. City Vs Bristol Highlights
England attacking midfielder Foden lost his place in his side’s starting line-up after some disappointing performances following the World Cup.
But he has now scored three goals in four days, having netted against Bournemouth on Saturday, and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said Foden was “back for the best bit of the season”.
The 22-year-old slammed in an early opener at the back post from Riyad Mahrez’s ball across the six-yard box.
Even when injured, Phil Foden wouldn’t have got into the Manchester City team over the last few weeks. Now he’s arguably been man of the match three games running and looks back to his best. After nine starts in a row, Jack Grealish felt undroppable, with the fact he was rested for the FA Cup underlining his great form. It only takes one game out to lose your place in this City side, though, and Grealish may have been watching uncomfortably at Foden’s electric performance at Bristol City.
Foden’s last two starts came on the right, to accommodate Grealish on the left. Back on the left and supported by Bernardo Silva, Foden had the beating of his full-back all night and timed his runs perfectly to score two well-deserved goals. On this form (three goals and an assist in three games), Foden will be the one racking up the consecutive starts.
Where does that leave Grealish, then, who has done nothing to warrant being dropped? Pep Guardiola said at the weekend he needed all of his squad firing and in form, happy that he has three wingers playing well. With Riyad Mahrez quieter than usual but still getting an assist, Guardiola suddenly has a difficult selection decision to make out wide. watch Man city vs Bristol Highlights on UKsports.
Julian Alvarez in Man. City vs Bristol Highlights
On Monday, Julian Alvarez was voted as the seventh-best player in the world by his peers. On Tuesday, he replaced Erling Haaland as City’s lone striker doing all the running but with no reward. The Argentine has impressed in recent weeks playing behind Haaland and prompting praise from Guardiola, who said Alvarez makes Haaland better.
Does Haaland make Alvarez better, then? Because at Bristol City, he was lively but rarely got the service as City opted to go wide. Alvarez deserves credit for a calm assist for Foden at a crucial time, but this wasn’t the best version of the World Cup winner we’ve seen. Maybe he’s better playing off Haaland and with more players around him.
watch Man city vs Bristol Highlights on UKsports.
Ortega Man. City vs Bristol Highlights
For a vocal minority on social media, this game was the start of a glorious return of Stefan Ortega, finally getting a chance to show why he should be starting ahead of Ederson. As cup goalkeeper, Ortega was always going to start, but Pep Guardiola made it clear Ederson remains number one.
It was disappointing for Ortega, then, that he was forced off at half-time after a relatively quiet first 45 minutes. One routine stop and some mixed attempts at playing out from the back don’t tell us much, so anyone hoping to see Ederson dropped may be disappointed.
City’s opener was one you’ve seen dozens, if not hundreds, of times before. Kevin De Bruyne slipped a perfectly weighted pass between defenders to Riyad Mahrez, whose cross found Phil Foden to convert at the back post. Foden took the plaudits, but not after De Bruyne rightly got some himself.
As Foden ran off to the left corner flag, three players went straight to De Bruyne and Mahrez to celebrate their role in the opener before then trotting over to the goalscorer. Guardiola had challenged City to ‘be themselves’ to win this tricky tie, and that was exactly how they asserted control of the game so early. watch Man city vs Bristol Highlights on UKsports.