The Portugal star earned the Club’s Man of the Match award for another tireless and fleet-footed display, while 21-year-old Foden bagged a brace and an assist, as City ran riot in the first half at the AMEX Stadium.
Speaking on our Matchday Live show, former City pair Dickov and Brown could not hide their admiration for the dynamic duo, hailing ‘fantastic’ Bernardo’s energy and ‘world-class’ Foden’s versatility.
CITY+ | SIGN UP TO ACCESS EXCLUSIVE CONTENT
On Bernardo, Dickov purred: “His performances have been absolutely outstanding.
“Foden got Man of the Match with his goals and assist – and rightly so – but Bernardo pushed him really close. He was outstanding from start to finish.
“It’s credit to him. He’s picked up his game onto another level. I love watching him and the energy he’s got. He always does it with a smile on his face.
“His touch and ability on the ball is fantastic. He’s crucial for the team and how Pep Guardiola wants to play. It says it all that he has played the most minutes alongside Joao Cancelo this season.
“In the second half, when they did get it back to 3-1, there were a couple of occasions where he won the ball back and slowed the tempo down.
“Then, the next time he got it, he took the whole team up the pitch – he ran 40 yards to take the pressure off and put Brighton on the back foot.
“I’ve love to see what his running stats are – they must be off the scale!”
Brown agreed: “He’s buzzing everywhere, working for the team and tackling. He seems to be right at the top of his game. He’s doing well now and no wonder he’s getting picked every game.
“It’s the workrate. Any young player who’s growing up and wants to see what football is all about – yes, you’ve got to have that flair and little bit of magic that these two players have got.
“It’s fabulous but you don’t get anything for free – it’s the pure application, desire and dedication to keep running through the situations time after time.
“That’s why they’re getting the rewards and it’s wonderful to see.”
Foden, who scooped the PFA Young Player of the Year and Premier League Player of the Year awards in our title-winning 2020/21 season, also earned plenty of acclaim, having continued his sparkling form with four goals and four assists in his nine appearances in all competitions so far.
The lifelong City fan has been tipped for great things from a young age and Brown was in awe of his versatility, suggesting the midfielder could even deputise at full-back if required!
“I just think he’s going to get better and better,” he said. “Pep has spoken about continuing to develop him and get him better.
“To learn, sometimes you don’t need to go anywhere. The energy he has and the quality on the ball, he will always be involved with the play.
“Naturally, he would lend himself into the central area, because he can run the game. He can definitely drift inside. If he was put in left-back, I think he would just go and slot right in!”
Echoing the sentiments, Dickov dubbed Foden as one of the most in-form players on the planet.
“His form at the moment is up there with the very best in the world,” the former City striker concurred.
“He has got everything. He can play across the front three and across the midfield too.
“He can start off as a false 9 but then drop off into midfield to receive the ball. With Phil, I think we should just let him play anywhere – don’t put a position on him.
GET 20% OFF OUR THIRD KIT AND MDCR RANGE
“He’s just a natural gifted footballer who can play anywhere. He’s slowly but surely becoming one of the main men in this City team.
“He was desperate to get his hat-trick. In the last ten minutes, he had a few shots where sometimes he would normally pass because he’s got great vision.
“When we won the ball back and Fernandinho played it in, I thought he would want to shoot again but he showed great awareness to pick Riyad Mahrez out.
“Phil was outstanding again. A couple of goals? He’ll take that. The form he’s in is fantastic – two goals and another assist.
“He just keeps getting better and better.”