PHIL FODEN left SIX Paris Saint-Germain players in his wake with an exceptional dribble in the Parc des Princes.
And Joleon Lescott hailed the Manchester City sensational as ‘more important than Kevin De Bruyne’.
Phil Foden produced a phenomenal dribble to shake off six Paris Saint-Germain playersCredit: PA
With 87 minutes on the clock in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final, Ruben Dias dispossessed Neymar ten yards inside the PSG half.
Livewire Foden, 20, picked the ball up and had one thing on his mind.
Using his pace, balance and sublime close control, he skipped away from the tumbling Neymar as well as Danilo Pereira who missed his tackle.
Ander Herrera, Alessandro Florenzi, Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe all tried their best to stop the England star.
But none of them could get close enough to stop him bearing down on goal.
Foden did manage to get a shot away from 18 yards but could not direct his effort either side of Keylor Navas for what would have been a superb solo goal.
He also fired straight at the PSG goalkeeper late on in the first half as City chased an equaliser.
Foden managed to get all three of his shots on target and had a 95 per cent pass accuracy while goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez ensured a 2-1 away win for Pep Guardiola’s men.
But even before his performance, the academy graduate was earning plenty of plaudits from the BT Sport pundits – with Lescott reckoning he is more crucial than his £300,000-a-week team-mate De Bruyne.
The ex-City defender said: “I would argue that Phil is the most important player in the team.
“In the club, you would say Kevin De Bruyne, he has got the contract to suggest that, but on current form and impact in games, Phil Foden for me is the most important player.
“He contributes so much to the team going forward, his energy, he leads the line with work-rate off the ball and his quality in possession is second to none.”
Owen Hargreaves reckons De Bruyne is still No1 but was quick to highlight Foden’s impact.
The two-time Champions League winner added: “I think anybody can see he is fabulous, his end product is so good.
“His effect on the game is remarkable, and 14 goals and nine assists for a young man is scary.
“He can obviously play in so many different positions. That is what he is great at, always checking his shoulder, and he has that little bit of magic in him.
Foden picked the ball up when Ruben Dias tackled NeymarCredit: PA
He made his way through the PSG midfield and closed in on the trembling defendersCredit: Getty
The City star got his shot away but fired straight at Keylor NavasCredit: PA
The PSG players could not dispossess the England man as he tried to add a third goalCredit: BT Sport
“I think to the point now where you talk about the most important player in Manchester City’s team, it is Kevin De Bruyne I think.
“But I think Phil has earned right now to the point where Raheem Sterling is on the bench, that Phil Foden is the one they are looking to for the big goals like he scored against Dortmund.”
Joe Hart joined in the praise and believes the Three Lions talent is playing football with complete freedom right now.
He said: “He is clean, his rhythm is good is good at the moment.
“Football can seem a really, really tough game at times, but he is definitely in a moment now where, when he is putting his boots on he is not thinking about anything else other than how he is going to affect the game and people getting him the ball.”
Marquinhos gave PSG the perfect start with his early header but City fought back in an impressive second half.
De Bruyne’s cross went all the way in before the hosts’ wall parted for Mahrez’s free-kick and Idrissa Gueye saw red all within 13 minutes.
PSG must score at least twice at the Etihad next Tuesday to have any chance of stopping Foden and City reaching the final.
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Neymar congratulated Foden on a brilliant performance at the Parc des PrincesCredit: Reuters