The Sky Sports pundits were universal in their praise of Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden after the youngster scored the winner against Tottenham on Saturday.

There was an element of surprise when the teams at the Etihad were announced at 11.30am, with Foden handed a rare Premier League start in what was a crucial game for the champions.

Both sides understandably freshened up their line-ups after their exertions in the Champions League on Wednesday night, with the visitors making five changes, while City boss Pep Guardiola made three alterations.

One of those was the introduction of Foden, who was handed the unenviable task of replacing David Silva in the centre of the park, just the England U21 international’s second Premier League start after a recent outing at home to Cardiff City.

The playmaker did not let his manager down, though, scoring the winning goal after just five minutes to propel City back to the top of the table and now within only four wins of retaining their title.

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville backed Foden’s selection, claiming City could no longer keep a youngster with such potential on the bench.

“Foden’s selection is an indication of faith, but it has come to the point where they cannot hold him back,” said the Sky Sports pundit ahead of kick-off.

“Guardiola has reached the point where he’s realised this is the moment, and he’s handed him his second Premier League start in such a massive game.

“The feedback I’ve been getting from the club over the past few weeks is that they may as well stop having an academy if this lad doesn’t get his chance!”