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Manchester City marked Pep Guardiola’s 700th game in management with a comfortable 2-0 win against Fulham on Saturday afternoon.
First-half goals from Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne secured all three points for the Citizens, in a result that sees them climb to fourth place in the Premier League table.
However, it was perhaps the defensive display that pleased Guardiola the most, as the result means that City have now maintained seven clean sheets in their last nine games.
Once again, it was John Stones’ performance that stood out for City, as the former Everton player re-established himself in City’s first team in recent weeks, which has coincided with his recent strong form.
According SofaScore, the 26-year-old earned a 7.3 sold out rating for his performance against Scott Parker’s side, with Fulham rarely threatening Ederson’s goal.
Should the Stones keep coming out ahead of Laporte?
During the 90 minutes, Stones made two punts, an interception and two tackles, while being dribbled only once.
The English international also won two of his three ground games during the match, suggesting he was rarely outdone by Fulham players.
The Stones was excellent on the ball as well, enjoying 117 touches throughout the game, suggesting that his City teammates constantly trusted him with the ball at their feet.
He was extremely efficient on the ball, losing possession on just three occasions, which was the fewest of any City outfield player, while completing an incredible 106/109 of his passes, resulting in a 97% passing accuracy. .
So it was a near-perfect display from the center-back and, if he continues in his current form, it’s hard to see Aymeric Laporte regain his place in Guardiola’s first team anytime soon.
Earlier this year, former Inter player Iván Córdoba had the following to say about Stones when speaking to him Daily mail:
“I really like John Stones or Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
“A very strong defender. He is a complete advocate in everything he does. I think he is one of the best in the world. “
Considering his recent demonstrations with City, it seems that Córdoba did not shy away from this suggestion, since with him and Rubén Dias at the center of City’s defense, Guardiola’s team looks impenetrable at the moment.
And, in other news … Guardiola can sign the next Agüero from City in a prolific 21 years that is considered “world class”