Man City midfielder Phil Foden
Man City's Phil Foden.

Phil Foden benching explained after Man City squeeze past Sheffield United

Manchester City assistant manager Juan Lillo has explained why Phil Foden was absent from the starting lineup for Sunday’s 2-1 win over Sheffield United in the Premier League. 

The England international had played a starring role in Man City‘s first two games of the season, but was surprisingly named on the bench against the Blades. He was subbed into the game late on and provided the assist for Rodri’s winner.

Lillo, who is standing in for Pep Guardiola after the Catalan underwent back surgery, confirmed that Foden wasn’t feeling well enough to start the game.”Phil had some problems with his stomach, he wasn’t feeling in the best condition,” he said.

“We have such a good squad and could see he wasn’t feeling very well and we were able to use that squad. It would have been easy for Phil to play but it was never in question because he wasn’t feeling well.”

City were made to work hard for the three points, although Erling Haaland uncharastically missed a perfect opportunity to put the visitors ahead in the first half.

John Egan was punished for handling the ball in the box, but the Norwegian striker failed to convert from the spot. Goalkeeper Wes Foderingham was sent the wrong way, but the ball smacked off the post and away from danger.

The champions had to wait for over an hour to break the deadlock, as Haaland finally found the net. Jack Grealish found the 23-year-old at the back post for his third league goal of the season.

The Blades found an equaliser with five minutes left on the clock when Jayden Bogle struck past Ederson, sending the Bramall Lane crowd into raptures.

The celebrations didn’t last for long, however. Rodri popped up in the box in the 88th minute with a thunderous strike to break United hearts.

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