Phil Foden felt City’s game management helped the defending champions avoid a Carabao Cup upset against Preston North End.

The 19-year-old was one of three teenagers named in the starting XI for the third round clash at Deepdale, where Pep Guardiola’s side cruised to a comfortable 3-0 victory over the Championship high-flyers.

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North End were unbeaten at home coming into the tie but City, spearheaded by David Silva and Raheem Sterling, played with our usual attacking flair and were rarely troubled.

For Foden, therefore, it was a case of a job well done, as he admitted the aim was to ensure the hosts did not disrupt our usual rhythm.

“It was about controlling the game and not playing to their strengths,” he explained.

“Not giving fouls away in silly areas and not making it a battle. I thought we dealt with that well today.

“It’s a great start to the defence and the aim is to try and win it again.”

Guardiola made nine changes to the team that was so deadly against Watford, with the Stockport-born playmaker coming in for his first start of the campaign.

After a spell on the sideline with due to illness, Foden got a valuable 90 minutes under his belt and it was another chance to showcase his credentials.

That was also the case for fellow Academy graduates Taylor Harwood-Bellis, who made his debut and Eric Garcia and the young midfielder is delighted to see them following in his footsteps.

“I’m always happy when I get minutes and I always try and take my opportunity,” he added.

“I’m so proud of Taylor and Eric today and I’m really happy for Taylor making his debut.”