Phil Foden says he feels “100% fit” after “one of the worst parts of my career” as his double sent Manchester City past Championship side Bristol City into the FA Cup quarter-finals.

England attacking midfielder Foden lost his place in his side’s starting line-up after some disappointing performances following the World Cup.

But he has now scored three goals in four days, having netted against Bournemouth on Saturday, and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said Foden was “back for the best bit of the season”.

The 22-year-old slammed in an early opener at the back post from Riyad Mahrez’s ball across the six-yard box.

He netted his second from Julian Alvarez’s pass, with a first-time effort deflecting past Max O’Leary.

Kevin de Bruyne added a wonderful third from 25 yards into the bottom corner late on for the visitors.

“I feel much better with my feet,” said Foden. “I feel 100% fit now and comfortable. It has been one of the worst parts of my career but everyone goes through them and it is how you react.

“[The issue was] discomfort in my feet and not playing as much. I love to play football and when I don’t I am a bit frustrated.”

Guardiola said: “His career was always up, up, up. This season he struggled a bit and was a bit down. But now he’s back for the best bit of the season.”

Bristol City, who had been unbeaten in 12 games going back to 26 December, gave a good account of themselves for long spells, with a Mark Sykes penalty appeal waved away and Alex Scott forcing a save from Stefan Ortega.

But treble-chasing Manchester City could have won by more, with Kalvin Phillips hitting the crossbar after just one minute.

Foden shines as Man City get the job done

Guardiola has always taken the domestic cups seriously and that continued with a strong starting line-up at a sold-out Ashton Gate.

Top scorer Erling Haaland was left on the bench but the majority of the Premier League champions’ first-team stars were involved, including De Bruyne on his return from illness.

The Belgian maestro was involved in the opener, feeding Mahrez down the right before the Algerian – who played under Bristol City boss Nigel Pearson at Leicester – found Foden who slotted home.

Foden also netted against Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday, which was only his second goal since the World Cup.

The visitors could already have been ahead by then with Phillips crashing a 25-yard shot off the bar after just 60 seconds.

They had other chances to score before the break with Ruben Dias heading straight at O’Leary and De Bruyne drilling over from inside the box.

In the second half Guardiola’s side eventually ran away with it, with Foden scoring his second via a Zak Vyner deflection before De Bruyne’s long-range strike capped the win.

Manchester City – who have only won one FA Cup under Guardiola – are still fighting for three competitions.

They sit two points behind league leaders Arsenal, and drew 1-1 at RB Leipzig in the Champions League last 16 first leg.

Kesh Awefada

Kesh Awefada

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