Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola feels the sky is the limit for Phil Foden but was not completely satisfied with Sunday’s victory over Manchester United.
The Citizens put on a masterclass in the first half at the Etihad, with Foden and Erling Haaland both scoring a brace. And while the Red Devils came back in the second period, the hosts ran out 6-3 winners in the Manchester derby. Both Foden and Haaland completed their hat-trick.
Antony pulled one back for the visitors after the break while Anthony Martial’s late double made the scoreline slightly more respectable for the visitors.
The result leaves the champions just a solitary point adrift of table-topping Arsenal while United remain in sixth.
Guardiola was delighted with the first-half display and felt his players were able to exploit the opposition weaknesses.
“It was really good [in the first half]. We scored four goals and could have scored more,” he told Sky Sports. “After half-time it was more difficult. It was a great victory, a great game, everyone was happy in the stadium and we enjoy it against our rivals. It was a good afternoon for us.
“In general it was really good how aggressive we were but of course when they have Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen they have quality.
“We were aware of the spaces and our players up front made the difference in the first half.”
Guardiola irked by sloppy City
Manchester City are overwhelming favourites to win a third straight Premier League title despite Arsenal’s superb start to the campaign. But the Spanish tactician was not wholly impressed with one aspect of his side’s display at the Etihad.
“We can win or lose but there are many things we can do better,” he added. “Some players were not good today so they have to improve.
“Perfection doesn’t exist, it’s impossible. But we must try to look there. We did good, we can do better, many, many players had sloppy passes.
“This is not good. We have to be more consistent. In some areas we were still not good.”
Pep in awe of Foden and Haaland
Haaland’s three goals means he has become the first player to score three successive Premier League home hat-tricks.
Foden’s hat-trick was his first in a City shirt. And Guardiola pointed out just what the England schemer brings to the party.
“His desire, how he runs, is the main thing. He deserves to play every time and then he has quality,” he continued. “He is a young player and it is a reality. He deserves everything.”
And the former Barcelona coach admits he cannot get his head around Harland’s start to his City career.
“The numbers speak for himself. He has done this before here. It is not our way. Always we try to help him in our environment,” he said. “We have this incredible sense that he always looks starving and is so competitive. The numbers are scary, honestly.
“He sees 10 players running without the ball with effort for each other so he wants to do it.
“They visualise it, they see it. It’s why we have success in the last few years. Behind it is effort and desire to do it.”