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Guardiola’s Project Foden is complete – he’s as important as De Bruyne now

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There was a time when the Manchester City board would go up 20 minutes from the end and you could probably bank on one thing.

The number 47 would be in lights. He was either coming off or going on.

Not any more.

Pep Guardiola’s Project Phil is complete. Foden is now as important a part of this Manchester City side as a Kevin de Bruyne, as a Raheem Sterling, as an Ederson.

So when Guardiola made the change this time, it was Riyad Mahrez to make way for Gabriel Jesus.

Moments later, Foden presented Ilkay Gundogan with his second of the match before making his own world-class scoring contribution.

The midfielder assisted one and scored one to sink the champions
The midfielder assisted one and scored one to sink the champions

And all those who, over the past couple of seasons, have questioned Guardiola’s handling of such a precocious talent tucked into humble pie after Liverpool’s Sunday roasting.

Who were we to ever doubt Pep?

Foden has not even turned 21, has made over 100 appearances for one of the best teams in English football history and he is running the show in away games at Anfield.

Foden is just as important at the Etihad as City talisman De Bruyne
Foden is just as important at the Etihad as City talisman De Bruyne

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He is a shoo-in for the Euros and would be worth nine figures on the open market.

Startlingly, Manchester City were greatly helped by an unrecognisable opposition goalkeeper and some other indifferent

Liverpool contributions.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, for example, seems hell-bent on proving those who believe he could be a better midfielder than full-back absolutely correct.

But Foden was a class apart from anyone in red.

Yes, Alisson was at fault for the goal that put City back ahead but Foden still had an awful lot to do before setting up Gundogan.

He did it with the incisiveness and vision that have become his trademarks – trademarks stamped all over his performance-crowning strike.

Remember how we smirked when Guardiola said Foden was the most talented player he had ever seen?

No-one is smirking now.

How impressive was Phil Foden at Anfield? Have your say in the comments.

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