Several Manchester City fans were left slightly irked despite the 2-0 Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb, after youngster Phil Foden was given a mere cameo at the end of the game.
The English starlet actually helped himself to a goal with a brilliant finish on the counter, and the moment has only created more discussion about his playing time at the Etihad Stadium.
With Kevin De Bruyne having been ruled out of the game, many felt as though it was a perfect opportunity for Foden to get some much needed minutes.
But manager Pep Guardiola opted to start Rodri, David Silva and Ilkay Gundogan in a three-man midfield, with Foden left to warm the bench once again.
After the game, Guardiola said (quoted by Sky Sports): “He deserves to play. I want to give him minutes. Every time I don’t play him, I am in front of him saying I’m sorry.
“But it’s Kevin De Bruyne there, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, David Silva, Gundogan, I’m so sorry. I know the best way to grow up is to play minutes, but he’s so young.”
Fans were delighted to see £30,000-a-week starlet Foden (BBC Sport) kiss the badge during his goal celebration, which did appear to suggest the player wants to stay and fight for his place in the side.
City fans react
Fans flocked to social media after the game to take aim at Guardiola over Foden, with some suggesting he should be above Gundogan in the pecking order:
FODEN DONE MORE IN 2 MINUTES THAN GUNDOGAN THE WHOLE 90, SOMEONE HOLD ME
— hamza (@ClassiCulprit) 1 October 2019
bsilva is on the wing and rodri is a dm, the issue is that you choose to play gundogan over foden every single match even though foden>gundogan BUT YOU WONT GIVE HIM A CHANCE TO SEE THAT. at least put them on a rotation :( https://t.co/8pCQ1NgNlQ
— han (@mcfchannah) 1 October 2019
I would’ve like to see Bernardo in the Gundogan role or for that matter Foden neither of them could do worse! But Pep seems committed to Gundogan – why is beyond me!
— Alan Clarke 🐝 💯FOURMIDABLES 🏆🏆🏆🏆 (@Footiemad47) 2 October 2019
It’s time foden started ahead of gundogan. Otherwise if this continues, foden will surely leave the club
— Ashwin Chandrashekar (@ComeOnCity_CTID) 2 October 2019
FODEN😍BENCH GUNDOGAN AND LET HIM PLAY
— /\/\arcus (@DebruyneClazz) 1 October 2019
Pep prefers to play our worst midfielder; Gundogan ahead of the player who he thinks is the most talented he’s ever worked with – Foden! Absolute joke. #FPL
— Jaime Dodd (@JDSuker) 1 October 2019
Frustrating seeing gundogan just coast through games offering very little when we have a young lad in foden itching to play.
— stefan hayhurst (@H26Stefan) 1 October 2019
I see no reason why Gundogan should start ahead of Foden
— Malek فهع👳🏽♀️ (@Paa_Quaessie) 1 October 2019
How many times more does Gundogan have to play like absolute trash for Pep to play Foden
— B (@MCFC97x) 1 October 2019
PLAY FODEN NOT GUNDOGAN, GOD DAMN
— Dylan Cotton (@DylanCotton13) 1 October 2019
It’s not even an agenda or anything now but Phil Foden is genuinely so clear of Gundogan it’s not even funny anymore
— Billy (@Kunbelievable) 1 October 2019
I’d happily see Foden start over Gundogan in every game for the rest of the season
— Daragh Reville (@RevilleDaragh) 1 October 2019
Gundogan is a donkey.
— Bibo Zaazou (@FantasticFoden) 1 October 2019
Foden is actually a better player than gundogan
— Aaron (@AaronBrookess) 1 October 2019