Foden hits City clincher after Delap debut strike
Phil Foden has well and truly put his pre-season England shame behind him. The Manchester City midfielder rescued his team last night when their four-year unbeaten run in the EFL Cup looked under threat.
The 20-year-old, sent home during international duty for having female guests at the team hotel, followed his goalscoring performance earlier in the week against Wolverhampton Wanderers with the decider here after Sam Surridge had cancelled out Liam Delap’s strike on his City debut.
After three successive triumphs in the competition, City were given a scare by Bournemouth until Foden struck. He was their most creative player, including setting up Delap’s opener, and in this form Gareth Southgate may find him difficult to ignore for next month’s internationals after his ill discipline in Iceland on his first call-up.
“Phil is an exceptional player, he does everything. I have a feeling in every moment of every game he is moving a step forward,” Pep Guardiola, the City manager, said.
Foden was a relative veteran considering Guardiola’s team contained Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Tommy Doyle, both 18, while Delap caught the eye as a lone striker.
Delap’s father, Rory, was in the stands, officially as a scout for Stoke City, as his son opened his account. The 17-year-old has been at City’s academy for a year and there is something of an old-fashioned centre-forward about him.
When Foden’s ball was threaded through, Delap nudged ahead of his marker and fired into the top corner with his first shot in senior football. “I wanted to take it first time,” Delap said. “I saw the keeper coming and I thought to just guide it in. To get the
call-up was a dream come true, but to top it off with a win and a goal, I can’t ask for more.”
Guardiola says he needs his young players as he has injury concerns. “We have just 13 available and we need players from the academy,” he said. “Liam will stay with us and we will see if we use him, but he is a young guy, like we said about Phil in previous seasons.”
Bournemouth drew level four minutes after conceding. David Brooks created the chance with a powerful run and Surridge fired a shot through the legs of Adrian Bernabe, the 19-year-old Spaniard who was in at left-back. Bernabe only lasted 36 minutes before he was taken off on a stretcher in distress.
Surridge, 22, threatened with two chances to get Bournemouth in front after the interval, linking up with Brooks but seeing his sight of goal closed out by City defenders.
Guardiola’s response to his team struggling to create chances was to call for Kevin De Bruyne off the bench, the Belgium midfielder replacing Rodri and dictating play. Then Raheem Sterling came on with the tie in the balance and the visitors scenting an upset.
But it was Foden who provided the breakthrough with 15 minutes remaining. He exchanged passes with Riyad Mahrez, whose shot hit the base of a post before Foden scored from the rebound.
Top corner: Liam Delap, 17, opened the scoring for Manchester City with what was his first shot in senior football