Manchester City went to the top of the table on Saturday after a 2-0 victory over Brighton, with Liverpool and Chelsea playing out a 1-1 draw in the late kick-off at Stamford Bridge.
Prior to the game, most of the talk had focused around Stockport-born midfielder, Phil Foden.
The youngster has been making the headlines for about twelve months now, for all the right reasons.
When Foden was voted player of the tournament at the under 21’s World Cup, a lot of people were beginning to talk about him being called up into Gareth Southgate’s senior England squad.
However, everyone seems to be on the same page for once, with Southgate, Guardiola and even Foden himself saying playing the waiting game is the best option at the moment.
“Definitely, there is no need to rush,” Foden said. “Pep knows what he is doing; I will play at the right time. He is good at bringing young players through, he has done it in his career before. So I have to be patient. I’m still young, and still enjoying being there and learning at the moment.
“Pep is a massive help to me, and [City assistant manager] Mikel [Arteta]. Both of them are massive.
“I had a chance in the last Premier League game [against Cardiff] and I thought ‘when is my chance going to come?’ and I just had to keep my head down and keep moving.”
Foden was talking after taking his chance when it finally did come in the 3-0 win over Oxford in the Carabao Cup last week.
In his first start of the season for the Blues he managed two assists and scored his first senior goal for the squad as City progressed to the fourth round.
Foden was always going to be a firm fan favourite having grown up in Stockport and supported City since childhood – but his first senior goal was still something special for him.
“It has not sunk in yet, it is an unbelievable feeling to get my first goal for City,” Foden said. “It meant a lot for me but most all it is important to get the win.
“There are a lot of things still to improve, so I am just keeping my head down, and working hard and keep improving.
“Possibly I need to improve in not giving as many balls away, but that happens when you play. You need to grow and be more mature, and I will get that as I get more games.
Having come through the academy to break into the first team, he is certainly in the right place for role models to learn from. With players like David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne in the team, it’s no surprise Foden is progressing at such a fast rate.
“To be fair, I still get the enjoyment assisting and scoring. I like to do both, and try and get both into my game. Definitely training with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva, players in the same position as me, I am learning every day off them, watching what they do. It has really brought me on as a player. Working with Pep as well has really helped a big part of my game, bringing it on.”
Oxford manager Karl Robinson likened Foden to Andres Iniesta – a comparison City fans also use, referring to him as ‘The Stockport Iniesta’.
“I am happy about that, but Iniesta? Come on, he is on a different planet, so for them to call me that is massive. It means a lot,” Foden said, laughing.
In the closing months of last season’s record-breaking campaign, it looked likely that Foden would be going out on loan this season to gain first team experience. However, a number of impressive performances changed Pep’s mind and now he is reaping the benefits.