Phil Foden was an 11-year-old fan behind the goal when Sergio Aguero scored the most iconic goal in Premier League history. And he never dreamed that, just over ten years later, he would be involved in a drama of the last days that almost coincided with those incredible scenes.
Foden won his fourth Premier League winner’s medal, and his ninth title overall, just six days shy of his 22nd birthday. That means he and several of his teammates are already three more wins away from catching Aguero and Fernandinho, whose 12 trophies each make them the most decorated players in club history.
Foden has revealed in the past how he and his mother ended up spilling onto the pitch when Aguero scored his final game-winning goal against QPR to beat Manchester United for the title in death. This time, he was fighting for the safety of the tunnel as fans celebrated another surprising turnaround.
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And he had no doubt that he had just participated in another great moment in the club’s history, saying: “He has to be up there. The way we came back, to score three goals as well. He definitely has to live up to Sergio’s moment.
“We definitely don’t go easy on each other, do we? Being two goals behind was very disappointing, but the character we showed to come back shows how far we’ve come as a team and how special we are.”
City trailed goals from Villa pair Matty Cash and Philippe Coutinho, and with Liverpool on course for their own comeback after conceding an early goal at home to Wolves, they needed three goals to secure the crown. , with 20 minutes to play.
Manager Pep Guardiola had sacked Aleks Zinchenko at half-time to change his defense and give City more attacking momentum, then brought in Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling to freshen things up in the final third.
The substitutions worked wonders as Sterling and Gundogan combined for the first goal, Zinchenko assisted Rodri for the second and then Gundogan appeared at the far post for the third.
Said Foden: “Gundo came in and it was definitely the game changer. We are lucky to have a player so he can come in and change the game.”
The late victory meant that City finished just one point ahead of rivals Liverpool after another breathless season in which Jurgen Klopp’s side came close to overtaking the Blues, eventually finishing a point behind. . Foden believes the close nature of this title race, and the lessons learned from it, will serve the Blues well in the future.
“It’s very demanding, but we enjoy it because we know that every game will be a challenge,” he said. “We’re going to look back at this time for years to come and say we’ve come a long way today, definitely.”
Foden has progressed to the point where he is now one of the first names on Guardiola’s team sheet and a central figure for England boss Gareth Southgate. And he credits the City boss for honing his game to the point that he was a surefire candidate for Premier League Young Player of the Year this season.
“Honestly, I’m very lucky to have him,” Foden said of his manager. “From the first day I came here to train with him, he has taken me by leaps and bounds. I am very happy that he is the coach and I want to continue learning.”
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