Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden has been tipped by many to become England’s most influential player in a generation. And the 20-year-old’s numbers in the Champions League win over Olympiakos last night demonstrates his growing significance to City’s quest for the trophy, as reported by the BBC.

Manchester City’s 1-0 win came courtesy of Foden’s first-half strike following a delightful back-heel from England teammate Raheem Sterling. The win saw City stroll into the Champions League knock-out stages with two games to spare.

Early qualification will undoubtedly provide relief for the Sky Blues, who have endured a difficult start to the Premier League campaign.

Pep Guardiola’s men suffered defeat on Saturday to leaders Tottenham Hotspur, their second loss in eight games so far.

City are already eight points behind Spurs, but Foden’s performance last night will shine a torch into the darkness.

Impressive figures

City may have peppered the Olympiakos goal with 22 shots, but only half made it on target. Foden’s 36th-minute finish was the only to beat goalkeeper Jose Sa.

Foden’s strike was his seventh attacking return in his last ten appearances in the Champions League (Transfermarkt).

In his 40th start in all competitions for the side, the goal was also his 25th goal involvement.

Furthermore, the goal was his tenth of the calendar year – the most in open play by any midfielder in the English top flight, excluding penalties.

Photo by MB Media/Getty Images

City’s Champions League hopes

The Citizens have struggled with injuries this campaign, with Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero major absentees. However, their absence has allowed Foden to step up and claim centre stage in a star-studded side. The 20-year-old has scored four goals and provided two assists in 12 games this term.

City can afford to rest players in their remaining two European fixtures, a luxury ahead of the hectic December schedule.

However, Pep knows his side can’t afford to become complacent when the knock-out stages arrive. City have failed to progress beyond the quarter-finals in the past three seasons.

The Champions League is the only elite trophy to elude Guardiola while at City. Having signed a contract extension recently, his eyes will be firmly on the prize.

The side were hampered by injuries in last season’s campaign, too. However, if an inspired Phil Foden can keep fit and on form, this season the European dream could come true.

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