Media Watch

Media Watch: Press purr over 'majestic' Foden

Media Watch: Press purr over 'majestic' Foden
Gabriel Jesus and Phil Foden dominate this morning’s City-centric headlines.

Brazilian Jesus led from the front, claiming a superb hat-trick to help City record a fine 4-1 win away at Dinamo Zagreb in our final Champions League group C encounter.

But it was the performance of Foden – who rounded off a wonderful all-round display with City’s final goal – that garners special praise in Thursday’s media round-up.

And it wouldn’t be media watch without yet another slice of transfer gossip surrounding the champions.


Daily Mail Foden and Jesus light up City

Jack Gaughan: “Bewilderingly elegant is how best to describe Phil Foden. That hypnotically graceful dribbling from deep that leaves better players than Dinamo Zagreb's in a trance, that precision of pass reducing opposition to statues.

READ: Hat-trick hero Jesus targets more goals

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Gabriel Jesus boarded Manchester City's charter flight straight home with the matchball but it was the young midfielder who stole the show.

“This was not a night he came of age - that happened some time ago, and he would be first name on many Premier League teamsheets - but one that suggested the 19-year-old can make a distinctive impact on City's immediate fortunes. Perhaps starting at Arsenal on Sunday.

“City had fallen behind here but Foden changed the course of this dead-rubber, of that there is absolutely no doubt. His first-half performance injected energy and his second allowed others to flourish, often adding zip into forays forward with one sharp pass. He led Dinamo a merry dance. Many more victims will follow in due course.

“Jesus was the chief beneficiary here, scoring a poacher's hat-trick that will do him the world of good.

“In Jesus and Foden, Pep Guardiola saw the understudies show his under-performing seniors that they are ready to arrest City's slide this season. Both were terrific.”

Daily TelegraphFoden stakes claim for starting place

James Ducker: “Gabriel Jesus took home the matchball with a memorable hat-trick, Benjamin Mendy resembled something approaching his best with an enterprising display from left-back and there was a welcome return from injury for Oleksandr Zinchenko after almost two months out.

WATCH: Dinamo Zagreb 1-4 City: Brief match highlights

“But on a bitterly cold night in the Croatian capital, when Manchester City reached 500 goals in just 199 games under Pep Guardiola, it was to a teenage English midfielder that the eye kept being drawn.

“With City labouring in the Premier League and some of the stars of the past two seasons enduring dips in form, the clamour for Phil Foden to be given a sustained run of games has been steadily gathering momentum.

“Dinamo Zagreb were fighting for a place in the Champions League knockout stages but, after taking the lead through Dani Olmo, the hosts were gradually worn down by the sheer majesty of Foden in midfield.

“His maturity as a footballer is almost freakish for one so young and Dinamo could not live with him. He had a hand in the first three goals, all beautifully dispatched by Jesus, before scoring the fourth with an instinctive first-time finish just outside the six-yard box from Bernardo’s pull-back, a reminder that he is not just a creator of goals but a scorer of them, too.”

Manchester Evening NewsFoden steals the show from Jesus

Stuart Brennan: “Phil Foden can do little more.

READ: Pep praise for 'extraordinary' Mendy

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“The teenage Manchester City prodigy got a rare start, and played a big hand in all three of Gabriel Jesus’s goals and then added one of his own as the Blues wrapped up their Champions League group campaign in style with a 4-1 win in Zagreb.

“The Stockport youngster is a little shy off the field and should perhaps be more demanding with him – but added that he never lacks for personality on the field.

“It tells you something that Foden stole the show from the Brazil number nine who claimed a hat-trick.

“His gymnastic balance and reflexes were leaving defenders trailing in his wake, or even clumsily smashing into each other as they tried to do him some damage.

“It was great to watch, but more importantly, from Guardiola’s assessment, he was taking the burden of making things happen in the final third – much more than the experienced Ilkay Gundogan, who was happy to play a linking, shadow role as his junior teammate twinkled and danced.”

Transfer gossip‘City primed for Koulibaly bid’

"Manchester City will reportedly launch an approach for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly ahead of next summer's transfer window.

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“Pep Guardiola's side are now 14 points behind Liverpool in the Premier League following defeat to Manchester United - their fourth of the campaign.

“City's situation has been worsened by a severe knee injury to key defender Aymeric Laporte in August, along with both John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi missing periods of the campaign with knocks.

“According to the Daily Mail, the Citizens will look to solve their defensive problems by making an approach for Koulibaly.

“Reports have claimed that Napoli would be prepared to let the 28-year-old leave next summer if potential suitors produced a bid of around £108m.

“Tottenham Hotspur have also voiced their interest in Koulibaly ahead of Toby Alderweireld most likely becoming a free agent in June.”

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