Man City’s Phil Foden inadvertently threw down the gauntlet to Kylian Mbappe when his PR team asked the PSG star ‘are you ready?’… now, as two of Europe’s hottest talents meet in a Champions League semi-final, they can let their feet do the talking
- Phil Foden meets Kylian Mbappe in the Champions League semis on Wednesday
- The clash was spiced up after Foden tweeted Mbappe asking: ‘are you ready?’
- Foden sacked the firm in charge of running his social media accounts as a result
- But ahead of the duo’s meeting in the French capital, sparks are expected to fly
- The pair have been standout performers and can now reach a European final
The stage was set two weeks ago when Phil Foden helped Manchester City beat Borussia Dortmund and reach the Champions League semi-finals, teeing up a mouth-watering clash with Kylian Mbappe’s PSG.
‘Are you ready?’ Foden later tweeted Mbappe, calling the Frenchman out after the second leg in Germany.
Except it wasn’t Foden who posted the tweet as it turns out, but rather a PR company running the City star’s social media accounts.
Phil Foden (left) meets Kylian Mbappe (right) in the Champions League semis on Wednesday
The tweet supposedly infuriated Foden, who quickly severed ties with the firm as a result of the blunder as he feared it would be seen as throwing down the gauntlet to the French superstar.
However, the incident has now inadvertently added more spice to an encounter that didn’t really need it.
On Wednesday evening, Foden will get to see up close if Mbappe has answered the question he never asked. Not through a certain number of characters on a social media post but with his performance on the pitch.
All eyes will be on the budding young duo who have been making waves in the game since their respective introductions to senior football.
While Mbappe’s rise to footballing superstardom was quick and sharp, Foden has had to bide his time after playing understudy to David Silva in recent years.
The two are rightly predicted to achieve great things given their fantastic start to life at the top but Wednesday night’s clash in the French capital will prove to be an enticing battle between the game’s next generation.
Foden put in a match-winning display against Borussia Dortmund to set up the semi-final clash
Foden’s PR company then spiced things up, asking if Mbappe was ‘ready’ for their meeting
For starters, Mbappe has been flying this campaign which comes as no surprise given his incredible goal-scoring record for club and country in recent years.
In 42 games across all competitions, Mbappe has been leading the way with 37 goals and 10 assists from the left wing, while seven of those strikes have come in his last five matches.
The 22-year-old’s critics will always point to the level of competition he faces in Ligue 1, with the argument generally claiming his opponents are rarely ever up to scratch in a league that has been largely dominated by PSG since 2012.
However, Mbappe has proved that he can also hold his nerve on football’s biggest stage and against Europe’s biggest clubs.
Mbappe (right) has left Barcelona and Bayern Munich in his dust in the previous stages
The 22-year-old scored a famous hat-trick inside the Nou Camp to help send PSG through
En route to Wednesday’s first leg with City, PSG have had to overcome Lionel Messi’s Barcelona and then the reigning European champions, Bayern Munich, to reach the last four for a second season running.
Mbappe stole the show in three of those four legs against Barca and Bayern by smashing an unforgettable hat-trick at the Nou Camp in the first leg of their 5-2 aggregate win over the Catalan giants before getting an all-important brace at the Allianz Arena, with his goals helping the French side advance on away goals.
For Foden, his impact has been just as great even if the statistics don’t quite tell the full story.
Following Silva’s departure last summer, Foden has done a stellar job in trying to fill the big shoes left behind by the Spaniard with the Englishman becoming the focal point in attack along with Ilkay Gundogan.
And while Pep Guardiola is refusing to play goal-scoring behemoth Sergio Aguero ahead of the Argentine’s departure this summer, Foden has done magnificently to ease the load up top.
The PSG superstar poses with his match ball and man of the match trophy after beating Barca
In 44 games this season, Foden has just 14 goals and nine assists to his name which doesn’t sound all that much when compared to Mbappe’s efforts this season.
However, his dazzling displays and man-of-the-match performances have made him a sure-fire pick for the Euros this summer and is starting to become one of the first names on Guardiola’s team sheets – even with the City boss’ known rotation policy.
Following a strong performance in the Carabao Cup final against Tottenham, which saw City lift the trophy for a fourth consecutive season, Foden may just get the nod from Guardiola again, who will now have his eyes firmly on the Champions League despite insisting that the Premier League is the club’s main priority.
City will be encouraged by PSG’s leaky defence, which has seen them keep just two clean sheets in their last 11 games.
But as Mauricio Pochettino continues to fine tune his defence, Guardiola will know full well that it’s the Parisian side’s attack is what he has to worry about.
Foden has been imperious for City this year and is on his way to filling the boots of David Silva
The midfielder was in fine form as he helped Manchester City win the Carabao Cup on Sunday
PSG have scored 25 goals in their last nine games and Mbappe has been at the heart of it.
His raw power and pace has proved to be a real issue for Europe’s elite and City’s defence will have their work cut out if they are to nullify him across 180 minutes of football.
A place in this season’s Champions League final is up for grabs and the tie will be decided on which side can nullify the other’s attack better.
But with the game fast approaching, it’s only a matter of time before we know the answer to Foden’s three-letter tweet.
Share this article
Source: Read Full Article