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Pep Guardiola explains why Phil Foden was substituted at half time vs Bournemouth

Phil Foden scored Manchester City's first goal of the season against Bournemouth, but was replaced at halftime by Jack Grealish.

Pep Guardiola claims Phil Foden’s half-time substitution for Manchester City against Bournemouth was purely tactical and more a reflection of replacement Jack Grealish’s summer form.

phil foden of manchester city walks over to take a corner during the picture

Foden retained his starting spot from the win at West Ham, but moved to his preferred left position against Bournemouth as Riyad Mahrez replaced Grealish on the right. Foden’s involvement was justified when he scored City’s third goal with an inside run that was identical to a run earlier in the game where he saw a shot saved.

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However, with a 3-0 lead, Foden did not return for the second half, with Grealish replacing him, and Guardiola explained that the decision was not influenced by an injury.

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Instead, after Grealish had started all pre-season games and the first Premier League fixture vs West Ham, Guardiola felt that the situation allowed him to reward his number ten with some minutes after an undeserved drop to the bench.

“I wanted to play Jack and he did some movements we spoke about,” Guardiola said.

“Especially because Jack, it was tough for me to not let him play. He played awesome against West Ham but Riyad always is so important in these smaller spaces to find the pass and find the right action. Phil is so important, always he creates something unexpected, the action the save, the pass, the goal, he’s dynamic. He’s young, has to understand what he has to do.

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“After 3-0, 45 minutes I said Jack I want him to play because it was a tough decision to not let him play. It was no reason, I had a feeling he was ready. He did well in America, the game against Bayern Munich, and especially against West Ham.”

Speaking to Match of the Day after the game, Guardiola told Foden that his early missed chance should have been squared to an unmarked Erling Haaland in front of goal.

“He didn’t see, but he has to pass the ball,” Guardiola said.

“He has to know Erling is there all the time now. In that situation arrive at the byline, Erling. Maybe with the false nine or another player, but this guy is always there.”

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