Foden on Man City criticism and his front-row seat for De Bruyne brilliance

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Phil Foden dismissed criticism of Manchester City’s character as he praised the team’s reaction to their Champions League heartbreak.

City led their semi-final from the second minute of the tie to the 181st but collapsed astonishingly at the Bernabeu earlier this month to suffer another painful exit as Real Madrid progressed to another final where they will take on Liverpool. The manner of the defeat stunned Pep Guardiola and his players – and led critics including former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra to cite a lack of personality in the team that left them unable to respond to setbacks.

The response to the Real Madrid defeat has been emphatic though, with 10 goals in two wins enabling City to take advantage of Liverpool dropping points and work up another key advantage through goal difference. Four points are needed from their final two matches to mathematically secure the title, but three should do it.

Also read: Kevin De Bruyne imitates Cristiano Ronaldo in devastating Man City role

Foden has been left with no doubts about the team as they go about getting the points they need to clinch what would be a fourth league title in five years.

“I think we showed a lot of character to bounce back after getting knocked out of the Champions League. Our mentality was great and we have come back and won the next two games after it. It is so good to see that the team has got a great mentality and a strong mind.

“Anything can happen, so we just have to stay focused and keep playing the way we are playing and hopefully we can get the job done. The title is so close, but not close enough for our liking.”

Foden has helped the team to push on from their European disappointment, and also had a front-row seat for a devastating performance from Kevin De Bruyne in the 5-1 win over Wolves this week. Foden could be seen shaking his head in disbelief towards the crowd as he celebrated De Bruyne’s hat-trick inside 24 minutes at Molineux – with all goals scored on his weaker foot.

“I think it was one of the best performances I have ever seen by a player. It felt like he took the game on his own at times,” he said. “He is such an important player for us and he helped us a lot to get the three points. I have never seen anything like that [performance] in my life.

“He has got a better left foot than me! He is one of the best in the world. I see him shoot with his left foot in training all of the time. We always know he has it in his locker, but to execute it in a Premier League game is much more challenging. He did it and helped us get a very important three points.”

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