Piraeus, Greece: Phil Foden sent Pep Guardiola another reminder of his scoring ability by earning Manchester City a 1-0 win at Olympiakos on Wednesday, clinching the English team a place in the knockout stage of the Champions League for an eighth straight season.
The highly-rated 20-year-old forward is the rising star in City’s squad but has been unable to secure regular game time in the Premier League this season despite the team’s unfamiliar struggles in front of goal.
Manchester City’s Phil Foden, centre, after scoring the only goal of the game against Olympiakos.Credit:AP
Foden moved onto four goals for City in all competitions this season, and was the team’s brightest player in an empty stadium.
However, he has only played a total of 72 minutes in City’s last four Premier League games, starting on the bench for each of them.
Captain Raheem Sterling’s backheel set up Foden’s goal.Credit:Getty
Guardiola’s team have been unable to find their attacking spark, scoring just 10 goals in eight league games, and again lacked a cutting edge against Olympiakos. Being without the rested Kevin De Bruyne probably didn’t help.
Bernardo Silva squandered the best of the rest of the chances, flicking the ball straight at goalkeeper Jose Sa from close range in the second half. Sa also twice denied Sterling before the break.
Sergio Aguero came on as a 78th-minute substitute for City for his first appearance since October 24 after recovering from a hamstring injury.
In the other early match Thursday (AEDT), Borussia Moenchengladbach scored three times in a powerful first half before cruising past Shakhtar Donetsk 4-0 to stay top of Group B with two matches remaining.
Captain Lars Stindl, who also scored in their 6-0 mauling of Shakhtar in Ukraine this month, put the hosts in the driving seat with a 17th-minute penalty.
Breel Embolo hit the woodwork as Shakhtar, missing key players through injury, desperately struggled to keep pace with the Germans.
Stindl floated in a corner for Nico Elvedi to head in Gladbach's second goal in the 34th minute before fellow Swiss international Embolo's superb bicycle kick in first-half stoppage time made it 3-0.
The hosts took their foot off the gas in the second half but still added a fourth when Oscar Wendt whipped in a free kick from the right in the 77th minute and the ball sailed across a crowded box and ended in the back of the net.
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