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Kevin de Bruyne may have paced Manchester City in their 3-1 first leg victory over Copenhagen but the stoppage time goal by Phil Foden may have ended the tie, giving City a two-goal advantage to head home to the Etihad Stadium on March 6. Playing five matches prior to the return leg, it's a result that gives Pep Guardiola a chance to rotate his players and get injured guys like Jack Grealish, Josko Gvardiol, and Bernardo Silva healthy. Playing consistent soccer for the first time in his career, Foden has stepped up for City time and time again but he could be called upon during this stretch yet again.

Without Erling Haaland and De Buryne in the Premier League and Champions League for a large portion of the season, Foden played centrally behind Julian Alvarez, taking up a creative role to pace the team, providing three assists and one goal in five matches. With De Bruyne's return, Foden has been more of a goal scorer, moving to the right to net four goals and provide two assists. While Foden prefers playing centrally, he spoke about his special connection with De Bruyne following City's win over Copenhagen in an interview with the CBS Sports' UEFA Champions League Today Post-Match show.

"I think I had to [step up] because they're two massive players for us, so key for us especially last year winning the treble, so I think it was time for me to step up and I got a run of games. I think that helped me find my best form," Foden said on playing without De Buryne and Haaland. "Now I'm playing with Kevin also and it's good to play with him because we have a connection, every time he makes that movement in behind he's easy to find so I'm playing the best football I would say in a City shirt."

With eight goals in his last 10 games in all competitions, Foden isn't wrong about his assessment of his current play but it's even more impressive with the pressure he is under to keep up consistent excellence at the club. Already having won the treble, City are expected to win every match in front of them and comments like these show a picture of a player maturing by the day. Now at 232 appearances for the senior squad in all competitions, the 23-year-old is a seasoned veteran despite his age at the club and he's playing like it 

Foden has a critical role in City's success and only trailing Liverpool by two points in league play, Guardiola will need him to continue this fine form down the stretch. If Foden, Haaland, and De Bruyne can all continue to click together, there isn't a team in the world that can stop City's roll domestically or in Europe.

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