Ruben Dias and John Stones: The Indestructible Blue Wall of Manchester!
Ruben Dias and John Stones have almost single-handedly changed the fortunes for Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, forming a solid defensive pairing at a time of need for City.
The Premier League witnessed yet another shocker involving Liverpool as Manchester City thrashed the Reds 1-4 at their backyard.
Mohamed Salah was the only goalscorer for the Reds on the night, while Manchester City saw a brace by Ilkay Gundogan, a banger from Phil Foden, and a header from Raheem Sterling.
In Jurgen Klopp's words, his side made some killer mistakes that cost them heavily. However, taking nothing away from the Cityzens, they are in an unimaginable position, considering the struggles they faced in the initial stages of the competition.
When Man City conceded five goals against the Foxes, Leicester City at home, everyone felt that their defensive woes would only worsen despite the signings Pep Guardiola made.
Little did we know that a combination of a new signing in the form of Ruben Dias and an out of favor first-team player, John Stones, would produce one of the finest defensive partnerships this season.
Ruben Dias, who arrived from Benfica, and John Stones, a former Merseyside man from Goodison Park have now established themselves as the league's premier partnership pairings.
As far as John Stones is concerned, he was far from getting into the first team and becoming Pep's first-choice central defender especially after the arrival of Ruben Dias. But now the tables have turned.
Stones was rumored to be departing from the Etihad Stadium but as things stand, the 26-year-old has a bright future ahead of him.
And with Ruben Dias being so young, just 23 at the moment, we can see the duo of Dias and Stones become as good as the likes of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand.
The duo have been exquisite with clean sheets in 11 games out of the 13 played in all competitions. The two games in which they have conceded is a penalty against Liverpool last night, while the other has been a consolation goal by Callum Hudson-Odoi when they beat Chelsea 1-3 at Stamford Bridge.
The partnership of Dias and Stones were rock solid in the Carabao Cup semi-final against Manchester United, who have the best scoring record in the English top-flight.
Manchester City not only managed a clean sheet but John Stones also scored the breakthrough goal for his side, making his mark in the team for future games.
Since then, City have been dominant at the back and that has resulted in free-flowing offensive performances despite being without Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne who contribute in goals consistently.
With 11 goals without conceding, Manchester City have the least goal conceded per match with just 0.6 goals. The second-best are the London sides Tottenham and Arsenal.
Man City have 14 clean sheets this season in the league, the most with just 1.6 saves per game. They also have the least number of clearances in the league, while they are 18th in terms of successful tackles.
Pep and Co also have the most number of chances created in the league, two ahead of Manchester United, averaging 2 goals, only behind the Red Devils (2.1 goals per game).
Looking at the defensive stats, it is clear that Man City are back to their best and with Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne close to making returns, we may see the prime Manchester City back in the right time.
However, the credit goes to this superb centre-back partnership of Dias and Stones that has made all this possible, laying the foundation to emphasize more on their offensive plays and not leaving the defensive duties in such responsible hands.
Leave a Reply