Guardiola praises 'exceptional' Foden

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola praised the "exceptional" Phil Foden after the midfielder impressed against Cardiff City on Wednesday.

Foden, 18, made his first Premier League start as Guardiola's men returned to the top courtesy of a 2-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium.

Guardiola lauded the teenager, who had three good chances to score, and said Foden would get more opportunities over time.

"Last season he trained with us, played sometimes, but this season, every training day, every single day he's in the locker room, so he's part of the group and everything, and he feels that," he told a news conference.

"So I'm glad for the young age, the way he plays, in every single game he's played so far he always plays at a good level. Today he could've scored one or two goals, but not just yet.

"He's an exceptional player, but at the same time it's not easy for him. He plays in the same position as David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, [Ilkay] Gundogan, Bernardo Silva.

"It's not easy for him, but he's patient and he wants to be here and we're delighted he's here, and of course this season he's played a lot of minutes, and I ensure you next season he will play more minutes than he's played this season."

De Bruyne, who has endured an injury-riddled season, opened the scoring before Leroy Sane's strike just before half-time for City.

Guardiola said City had missed the Belgium international despite continuing their strong run of results this season.

"I think everybody was playing at a high level, and of course Kevin, we've missed him," he said.

"The results maybe don't say that but we missed him. He's an important player for us and, especially in the first half in the first 15-20 minutes, he was making incredible movements."

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