Phil Foden

Manchester derby
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How will Man City, Man Utd line up in Sunday’s derby?

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The Manchester derby will be missing some key pieces when City visits United on Sunday (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

Harry Maguire is doubtful for the Red Devils, likely to join Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford as key pieces unable to tangle with the “noisy neighbors.”

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

City’s banged up, too, as Kevin De Bruyne is in doubt to play while Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane remain absent.

It will likely be City’s first look at Bruno Fernandes, who has three goals and two assists in seven appearances for the Red Devils.

Both teams played at midweek against Championship competition, City outlasting Sheffield Wednesday and United taking care of Derby County.

How the managers respond to derby stakes but fixture congestion is interesting, especially for City; The two-time reigning league champions have a rescheduled match with Arsenal on Wednesday.

Manchester United projected XI

De Gea

 Wan-Bissaka — Lindelof — Bailly — Williams

McTominay — Matic —  Fred

Fernandes

Martial — Greenwood

Why: Solskjaer will bring his hard men to the midfield and hope Fernandes, Martial, Greenwood, and his fullbacks can carve up City on the counter. He’ll save Juan Mata and Andreas Pereira to come off the bench.

Manchester City projected XI

Ederson

Walker — Otamendi — Fernandinho — Mendy

Rodri — Gundogan

Mahrez — Foden — Sterling

Aguero

This could see Bernardo Silva played centrally for Foden and Jesus over Aguero, but we have Guardiola rewarding Foden for his sensational League Cup Final.

‘Clinical’ Foden wows as Man City lifts another trophy

Phil Foden
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Phil Foden has been waiting for this moment.

It isn’t a coincidence that the 19-year-old was right next to David Silva when Man City’s captain lifted the League Cup trophy on Sunday, its third-straight triumph in the tournament.

[ MORE: Aston Villa 1-2 Man City ]

Foden was front and center on the pitch, too, putting in a Man of the Match shift in what may one day be looked upon as his coming out party.

Yes, Foden’s made 60 senior appearances for City, scoring 10 goals with nine assists.

And yes, the “Stockport Iniesta” has a match-winning goal in City’s incredible run to the Premier League final last season.

But Sunday showed his incredible potential is bubbling above the surface.

Man City manager Pep Guardiola kept it concise, saying “Phil was clinical.”

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Foden completed 90 percent of his passes including two key passes. He completed three of four dribbles, won 7 of 10 duels, and made an interception to go with two tackles (stats via SofaScore).

That says nothing of his ability to move the ball in tight spaces before finding a safe outlet.

Wonderful from a kid who’s still a teenager until May 28.

“The day before, in training, the manager was working on tactics,” Foden said, via the BBC. “I couldn’t wait to play. It was an unbelievable day.

“When I play, every minute counts, so I try and do my best and I’m very proud of my performance today. You look at players like Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva, who are great, so when I get into the team I have to make the most of it.”

Foden could’ve already become critical if enough Man City players leave this summer because of the UEFA Champions League ban, but it may happen sooner.

Guardiola has often been quizzed on Foden, and has shown a lot of patience. But Foden showed the full skill set on Sunday, not missing a beat. He could’ve potted a couple of goals, but we doubt anyone will be worried about that.

Sunday was his day.

Man City wins third-straight League Cup

Man City wins third-straight League Cup
(Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)
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Manchester City won its third-straight League Cup trophy, outlasting a game challenge from Aston Villa at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

[ MORE: “Clinical” Foden reacts ]

It’s the eighth trophy of the Pep Guardiola era at Manchester City, as Rodri and Sergio Aguero scored in a 2-1 win. City’s seven league cups trail only Liverpool’s eight.

Mbwana Samatta pulled a goal back for Villa, who was denied extra time by a brilliant Claudio Bravo save. City had 70 percent of the ball and a 22-5 shots edge, but made a furious bid over the final few minutes.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]


Three things we learned

1. Another trophy for City, with new heroes: Winning silverware never gets old, and this one will feel especially nice given the tumultuous season at the Etihad Stadium and impending UEFA Champions League ban. Villa proving difficult to beat lent the occasion more intensity.

The names helping City to glory were mostly new to the trophy chase, or at least unusual to it. Rodri helped set up the first goal and scored the second. Phil Foden was an absolute menace. And Bravo made a tremendous late save to ensure the match didn’t go beyond 90 minutes.

2. Foden announces himself: It can be easy to tire of the “did the young English player play and how did he play?” storyline with Premier League, but this isn’t that: Phil Foden was electrifying in this one, recalling fellow spark plug Jack Grealish on the opposite sideline.

The kid was sensational, completing 90 percent of his passes including two key passes. He completed three of four dribbles, won 7 of 10 duels, and made an interception to go with two tackles. That says nothing of his ability to move the ball in tight spaces before finding a safe outlet. Wonderful from a kid who’s still a teenager until May 28.

3. Bad call burns Villa, as fans provide occasion: Neither the AR nor head referee saw the ball touch Ilkay Gundogan last ahead of a wrongly-awarded Man City corner. VAR isn’t going to be deployed for every corner, nor should it be, but the missed call allowed Gundogan’s corner that Rodri buried for 2-0.

Villa’s fans were tentative early, but snapped to life once Samatta scored and found another level after the hour mark. It will have been a memorable day for a big club even if Dean Smith‘s men can’t shake the relegation blues.

Man of the Match: It’s between Rodri and Foden, with an acknowledging nod to Villa defender Tyrone Mings. We’ll give it to Rodri, City’s underrated star.


Early chances went both ways, Anwar El Ghazi heading over the goal at one end before John Stones headed a Gundogan did the same at the other.

City took the lead on an incisive, clinical play. Rodri swept a pass over the line to a streaking Phil Foden, who cut back for Aguero.

The Argentine had plenty to do with a leaping side-footed finish of an airborne ball.

El Ghazi cut around Stones to shoot toward the near post, but Claudio Bravo was in position.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Rodri had it 2-0 off a Gundogan corner that should not have been. The ball went off Gundogan last on the end line, but VAR cannot review every corner.

Villa got one back when Stones fell over, allowing El Ghazi to cross between Fernandinho and Oleksandr Zinchenko for a waiting Samatta.

City couldn’t find the goal to put the game to bed and introduced Kevin De Bruyne for Ilkay Gundogan, Guardiola not content to ride out a one-goal win.

Rodri almost had another when Nyland pawed away a 74th-minute bid, and Aguero slipped in a bid to side volley a Sterling cross past Nyland.

Villa won a corner in the 87th minute through the industry of Trezeguet, the crowd again meeting the moment. Bravo made an incredible save to push Bjorn Engels‘ header off the post.

De Bruyne, Man City make quick work of Arsenal

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Kevin De Bruyne had two goals and an assist in the first half as Manchester City rode past Arsenal 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Raheem Sterling scored City’s other goal, with Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus also recording assists.

Man City has a six-point cushion on fourth place Chelsea, and is 14 points behind leaders Liverpool.

The clean sheet was Man City’s first in 11 outings across all competitions.

Arsenal remains ninth with 22 points.

[ MORE: Spurs beat Wolves | Man Utd draws Everton ]


Three stars

1. Dynamic De Bruyne breaks dam: Kevin De Bruyne had nine assists in his first nine matches to set a threat towards the league’s record, but hadn’t collected a helper in six league outings (though he scored thrice) when he set up Sterling’s goal. The play was everything you like about your favorite wizard. De Bruyne drove the ball up field before laying off and running to a dangerous area.

2. Walker commands the right side: It took a while for Kyle Walker to grow into his price tag at City, but the right back was a force on Sunday. No City player touched and passed the ball more than Walker, who seemed to find another gear when he recognized he’d be facing young Bukayo Saka off the bench. Walker had two tackles, two dribbles, and was passing at 92 percent by the hour mark. He didn’t even have to play goal.

3. Fernandinho all over the pitch: It may be tempting to forget the Brazilian is a center midfielder, given his serial status as starting center back. Fernandinho reminded us of his creativity with a long dribble to help set up the first goal. He also did what he always does, winning four aerials, blocking a shot, and managing five clearances.


Bernd Leno was troubled twice early, but Man City opened the scoring in between the chances when Fernandinho dribbled from his own half to cut Gabriel Jesus to the end line. Jesus then swept the ball back post to De Bruyne for a vicious finish and 1-0.

It was just too easy, as De Bruyne turned provider to find Sterling alone thanks to a wobbly Sead Kolasinac.

He’d score again in more challenging fashion, a powerful and clinical strike to make it 3-0. Arsenal was lost and Man City finding itself.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

An injury to Sead Kolasinac brought Bukayo Saka into the fold for another turn at wingback, and that helped to improve the Gunners.

Gabriel Jesus stripped Callum Chambers and dribbled toward the Arsenal 18, where he was stymied by Bernd Leno.

The second half was a sleepy one, City resolute even when Arsenal got into the final third.

Jesus hat-trick downs Dinamo Zagreb, Atalanta qualifies for knockouts

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Manchester City looked sluggish again, but Gabriel Jesus made sure it didn’t matter.

The Brazilian cropped up at a critical juncture for Pep Guardiola, sending Manchester City through into the knockout stage on a winning note as his hat-trick sealed a 4-1 come-from-behind victory that knocked Dinamo Zagreb from European competition altogether.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

The first half was especially lackluster for the English visitors to Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb, with lots of possession but little to show for it. The hosts went in front early on, punishing Man City on the counter on a fabulous volleyed finish from former Barcelona youth product Dani Olmo.

That was the best goal of the day, but Man City picked itself up and pulled back level before the break, with Jesus grabbing his first via a header as Dinamo Zagreb shut off, screaming for Man City to put the ball out with a Zagreb player down. The visitors rightly did not, and Dinamo was punished by the equalizer.

After halftime, Man City was much better, hammering the left flank to take a commanding lead. The second came on excellent work by Jesus in the box to shake a defender and finish with his right, while the third flew in minutes later on a pinpoint Benjamin Mendy cross that Jesus met with a flying karate kick. Pep Guardiola had one eye on the festive fixtures, withdrawing Jesus soon after the hour mark, replaced by Oleksandr Zinchenko who curiously took Jesus’s place at the striker position.

Phil Foden was the best Manchester City player throughout, and finished off the scoreline with seven minutes to go. An excellent buildup down the right saw Bernardo Silva sprung through, and he cut back to Foden at the top of the six-yard box who slid to meet the ball with pace and poke home the cherry on top.

Elsewhere, Atalanta topped Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0 in the Ukraine on goals by Timothy Castagne, Mario Pasalic, and Robin Gosens, meaning the Italians secured the second spot in Group A, qualifying for the knockout stage. The Ukranians were left dead in the water after right-back Dodo was sent off 13 minutes from time, leading to the second goal to seal things up. Atalanta’s advancement marks a stunning comeback given the Italian side failed to secure points in any of their first three group stage matches.

That left Shakhtar in third, dropping to the Europa League, while Dinamo Zagreb was left at the bottom of the group, on the outside looking in.