Pep Guardiola heaps praise on "special" Phil Foden after youngster makes debut in Houston derby defeat

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has heaped a tonne of praise on the "special" Phil Foden, as the youngster made his senior debut in the 2-0 defeat International Champions Cup clash with bitter rivals Manchester United.

"Been a long time since I saw something like this"

Foden is City born and bred as he has been with the club from Under-9 level, and he became part of the club's history as Guardiola made him the third-youngest player to be named in a matchday squad after selected him on the bench for the 1-1 draw with Celtic last December.

City got their 2017/18 campaign underway on Friday as they played The Red Devils at the NRG Stadium, it wasn't a stellar performance from The Citizens but the 17-year-old was certainly the bright spark.

The midfielder really held his own against the likes; Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba, and Guardiola praised the efforts of the youngster.

"I don't have words," Guardiola stated to his post-match press conference. "I would like to have the right words to describe what I saw today."

"You are lucky guys, believe me," the Catalan told the gathered press. "You are the guys that saw the first game, in the first team for Manchester City, for this guy."

"It's been a long time since I saw something like today," the coach admitted. "His performance was on another level."

"He will stay with us, training with us in pre-season," Guardiola added. "And maybe during the season he's going to stay with us because he is special."

"Onto the next one"

The clash with their city rivals was their first taste of football in pre-season, and the coach will have been left slightly disappointed as his side were mainly dominated by José Mourinho's side.

City never really had a half decent opportunity throughout the 90 minutes with Sergio Agüero, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus having half chances. Strikes from Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford saw them fall to defeat but Guardiola stated that there were positives to take and they will look ahead to the clash with Real Madrid.

"It was a physical test," he said. "We saw many good things, they are dangerous in attack."

"We played quite well, especially in the second half and some minutes of the first half too," the 46-year-old stated. "Some individual performances were really good."

"So now rest," Guardiola concluded. "Then Real Madrid."