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Man City player ratings vs Aston Villa: You can't bench Phil Foden! Hat-trick hero lights up the Etihad as Rodri dominates while Erling Haaland watches on from the bench

The England midfielder was utterly outstanding in a 4-1 demolition of Unai Emery's side which kept the champions on Liverpool and Arsenal's tails So Manchester City might be better off without Erling Haaland and even Kevin De Bruyne after all... as long as Phil Foden is in form like this. Because while there will always be a debate about the Norwegian's all-round play and the Belgian's age and fitness, there is no question about their homegrown magician. Pep Guardiola made two big calls by benching Haaland and De Bruyne among four changes on Wednesday, but Villa were also weakened by the fresh absences of Ollie Watkins and Emi Martinez in addition to missing John McGinn and Matty Cash. Rodri rifled the champions into the lead early on, but Villa responded with a slick counter-attack finished off by Jhon Duran, who became the youngest visiting scorer at the Etihad in almost eight years. City quickly set out to restore their lead and did so right before half-time via a Foden free-kick that was helped by cowardly defending from Nicolo Zaniolo in the Villa wall. Article continues below Douglas Luiz was denied an equaliser by Stefan Ortega early in the second half before Foden wrapped the game up. He slotted a first-time effort into the bottom corner after fine play by Rodri before hitting an absolute stunner into the top corner just seconds after being hauled to the floor to complete his second treble of the campaign. GOAL rates Man City's players from the Etihad Stadium... Editors' Picks Odegaard takes Arsenal top as returning Smith Rowe impresses

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