After a superb performance in midweek against Olympiakos, John Stones was rewarded with a rare Premier League start against Burnley on Saturday afternoon.
The former Everton man rewarded Pep Guardiola’s faith in him by producing another dominant display, showing signs that he may well be back to his best in this Manchester City side.
Although it was a comfortable 5-0 win for the Citizens against Sean Dyche’s side, the 26-year-old centre-back was really bested and came out on top in what was a physical battle.
As per SofaScore, the England international earned a 7.6 rating for his display against the Clarets, with only Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez earning higher.
Of the five aerial duels he was involved in during the game, he was able to win 100%, which is even more impressive when you consider the height available in Burnley’s attack, with Chris Wood, Ashley Barnes and Jay Rodriguez all featuring at the Etihad.
Stones, described earlier this year as a “complete defender” by Ivan Cordoba, was also extremely effective with the ball, as he had 108 touches during the game and completed 93/96 passes, resulting in a superb pass accuracy rate of 97%.
He was also accurate with all six of his long balls during the game and he also lost possession on just three occasions, resulting in a superb all-round display from the defender.
Following the game in midweek, Guardiola was extremely complimentary of Stones, saying:
“We only conceded one shot on target. I know it looks easy when it happens but it’s not because of the quality of the players they are. Unfortunately, we could only score one goal but the team is alive.
“They made long balls and our central defenders were outstanding.
“A big compliment for John Stones because it is not easy after a long time and with Ruben alongside they make an incredible couple. I’m especially happy for him but everyone was so committed and we attacked with more desire to shoot, to score. Now we recover as [quickly] as possible and start focusing on the Premier League.” (per Manchester Evening News)
Therefore, after another superb display against Burnley, it perhaps wouldn’t be a surprise to see Stones continue to keep his place alongside Ruben Dias in the City defence for future matches.
And, in other news… Man City must secure £63m-rated “complete” striker loved by Messi