Pep Guardiola outlines what makes Phil Foden so special after he stars for Man City v Man Utd

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The Stockport star scored twice in City's 3-1 win against their fiercest rivals at the Etihad.

Pep Guardiola believes Phil Foden sums up Manchester City’s winning mentality after his double helped see off United in the derby at the Etihad. 

After doubts in recent seasons about whether the Stockport-born star would realise his potential, he is increasingly indispensable for the club and country with the Euros on the horizon. 

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Against United, his first was a fine strike into the top corner from 20 yards before a neat one-two with Julian Alvarez set up his second 10 minutes from time. Erling Haaland completed the job for City after Marcus Rashford had silenced the Etihad with a stunning eighth-minute opener. 

Asked whether Foden was, or would soon be one of the top players in the Premier League, Guardiola said: “He is right now this season one of the best. I always had the feeling he would score goals. Now he is winning games. To become a world class player you have to win games. 

“He has an incredible work ethic, he lives to play football and now he is winning games. False nine at Bournemouth, today after missing the first chance against Onana he became a little bit anxious. Rashford scored an unbelievable goal and Phil scored an unbelievable goal too.”

Guardiola says the potential was there from him to see immediately, and now Foden has matured into a fine all-round player. 

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“When I arrived, he had it, he lived to play football,” the City boss added. “When he started training, he was aggressive in the goal and dribbles and now he is more mature and understands defensively what he has to do and understands the games better. 

“The most important thing everybody has was that when he had the ball close to the box there was a feeling that something would happen. The feeling that he was aggressive and was trying to score, that's why he's becoming a really important player for us and for the national team.”

After talk from new United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe of “knocking City off their perch” Guardiola saw his side get the better of their City neighbours again. He didn’t want to address the INEOS boss’ comments when quizzed post match, and was just pleased with his side’s drive and mentality after going 1-0 down, something summed up by Foden. 

“What I'm really proud of is still after what happened we are still able to perform with this desire,” he said, “The three or four actions from Phil coming back to win the balls and recover. He's a winning player and this is the mentality we still have. We did it today, and against Luton, and every single game. That defines our team.” 

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