After conceding midway through the first half to a Neal Maupay strike, the reigning champions equalized just before halftime when Foden calmly placed a shot past goalkeeper Mark Flekken, who had previously made nine saves to thwart the visitors.
The Englishman then put City ahead eight minutes into the second half by meeting Kevin De Bruyne’s lofted pass into the penalty area with a header, before completing his hat-trick with a confident left-footed finish on the 70-minute mark, courtesy of a smart pass from Erling Haaland.
Foden, earning the match ball for the second time in his career, has now amassed 14 goals and nine assists for Man City across all competitions this season. His latest stellar performance aided City’s climb back to second in the league table, trailing leaders Liverpool by just two points with a game in hand.
Guardiola commended Foden after the match, stating to reporters: “We recognized it a while back. I mentioned weeks ago that Phil is having his most impactful season in terms of goals and assists for the team.”
“This season, he’s been incredibly valuable to us. His ability to read the game is remarkable. He excels in simplifying his play while maintaining aggression.
“He consistently finds joy in scoring goals and poses a constant threat in the six-yard box. His astute positioning and selfless runs for the team make him an exceptional player.
“At just 23 years old, having amassed 250 appearances for City, he has showcased his influence since his arrival.”
Foden has solidified his role as a key member of Man City’s first team since his debut in 2017, clinching 16 trophies along the way. Guardiola believes that Foden’s blend of talent and experience will eventually propel him into a leadership role at the club.
“In the future, he will step into the shoes of Kevin and Bernardo [Silva]. It’s a natural progression. With each passing season, as he gains more experience, he’ll naturally assume a leadership role. Currently, he’s being guided, but there will come a time when he leads.”
“From the very beginning, when he steps onto the field, he exudes maturity and a sense of ‘I’m unfazed, I have ample experience and I’m not burdened by pressure.’
“For a player emerging from the academy to maintain such a high level of performance and consistency over many years is truly remarkable. I’ve lost count of how many trophies he’s helped us secure, whether it’s 15 or 16, at such a young age.
“His success and longevity in his career are within his control. It hinges on his dedication to his craft and his meticulous approach to every aspect of his life.”
Foden will be eager to increase his goal tally as Man City host Everton at the Etihad Stadium in their upcoming Premier League fixture on Saturday afternoon.