Phil Foden fired Manchester City with Paris Saint-Germain into a Champions League semi-final and wasted little time signaling his delight in the showdown with French phenomenon Kylian Mbappe.
Foden drilled an excellent goal in the second half from the edge of the penalty area to give City a 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund in Germany on Wednesday evening. He secured a 4-2 overall victory and a place in the final of the Champions League time since Pep Guardiola took over the club in 2016.
An ecstatic Foden rushed to hug his manager before he was bullied in the dugout after his winner in the 75th minute at the Westfalenstadion. This came after 17-year-old English star Jude Bellingham gave the hosts a shocking head start after just 15 minutes before a penalty from Riyad Mahrez shifted the initiative back to the visitors.
READ MORE: English starlets shine on both sides while Guardiola and Man City keep the dream of the Champions League alive by beating Dortmund
For the 20-year-old Foden, his strike signaled his growing clout in the ranks of the city – and he wasted no time sending a message to Mbappe, arguably an even more influential PSG line-up who has been against for the past four years City should compete.
“[Mbappe] Are you ready? “Foden tweeted shortly after working full-time in Germany, tagging his prolific 22-year-old rival and adding a handshake emoji.
On Tuesday, Mbappe and PSG had booked their place in the semi-finals, although they lost 1-0 at home to defending champions Bayern Munich. The French giants’ 3-2 win in Germany last week was enough to push them forward on away goals.
Meanwhile, football fans in England welcomed Guardiola’s mentoring for Foden and his precocious talent. In previous seasons there had been concerns that the Spaniard would use the young midfielder too sparingly for his own good.
However, in this campaign, Foden was entrusted with much more playing time as he firmly emerged as the heir to the role of city legend David Silva when he returned to Spain before the start of the season.
“Pep Guardiola’s management from Phil Foden was perfect,” crowed a popular soccer account.
“It wasn’t that long ago people wondered whether or not he would get minutes for the first team and now, at 20, he’s an absolutely crucial cog on their first team. It doesn’t all depend your bank balance. ”
Pep Guardiola’s management from Phil Foden was perfect. It wasn’t that long ago people wondered whether or not he would get minutes for the first team, and now, at 20, he’s an absolutely crucial cog on their first team. It’s not all due to their account balance.
– HLTCO (@HLTCO) April 14, 2021
I can’t believe Guardiola came here and carefully groomed Phil Foden until he rose to become one of the best midfielders in Europe. Where were the loan shops for championship clubs ???
– Duncan Alexander (@oilysailor) April 14, 2021
Gary Lineker was one of those who praised both Foden and Dortmund star Bellingham, who had blinded his team despite the defeat.
“It’s so exciting to see so many wonderful young players in our game,” wrote the English TV expert.
And another young English star is sure to wrap it up for @ManCity. The brilliant @PhilFoden. It’s so exciting to see so many wonderful young players in our game.
– Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 14, 2021
In the other half of the draw, Real Madrid left Anfield in a 0-0 draw and secured their place in the last four games with a 3-1 aggregate win over Liverpool.
You will meet Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea team in the semi-finals.
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