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Stones enjoying Man City journey

ONWARD: John Stones says he is heading in the right direction.

ONWARD: John Stones says he is heading in the right direction.

Manchester City headed straight to Abu Dhabi after Tuesday night’s gripping contest, but the quality of that performance has ensured it’s lingered in the UK media narrative for another day.

The 5-3 victory over Monaco left no shortage of talking points and as Pep Guardiola prepares his side for an FA Cup replay, John Stones, Yaya Toure and Raheem Sterling are prominent in today’s newspaper round up.

The England defender was out-muscled by Falcao for the away side’s third but responded well to net the goal which edged the Blues ahead in the tie.

Six months into his City career the 22-year-old has acknowledged the game’s peaks and troughs, but feels he is treading the right path with the Club.

“I think people have got behind me here and I know when I've had a good game or a bad game,” he told the Mail.

“I'll always be honest with myself [and] first to hold my hands up and say I made this mistake. I think I can improve on it and move forward. I feel like I'm going in the right direction.  I'm enjoying my football massively.

“I think how the gaffer explains things to us and how hard we work on things in training, we know what to do in games. We know our jobs, which makes it easier for us as footballers both attacking and defending.”

Elsewhere and Toure’s reaction to the win has proved footballers are fans like the rest of us.

The midfielder expressed his delight at the performance and victory, in particular the Blues’ attacking intent.

“We hope to see these kind of games,” read his quotes in the Guardian.

“Even myself, when I sit on the sofa watching a European game, that’s the kind of performance I want to see.

“It was brilliant. We enjoyed it and the fans enjoyed it. From the beginning of the season until now, we always attack, we always show that.

“That’s the most important. With the new manager now it’s all about attack.”

One man – there were many -  who personified City’s willingness to take the game to their opponents was Sterling.

The youngster helped himself to a goal and an assist – his ninth and eighth of the season – and has had sections of the media purring in the aftermath of an impressive performance.

“The Manchester City flier is rampant right now,” writes the Mail’s Sami Mobkel.

“Ask Monaco’s defence - they couldn’t get near him on Tuesday night.

"This is the Raheem Sterling we want to see. Pace, power, intelligence - and end product.

“The kid who ripped Premier League defences apart alongside Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho during Liverpool’s gallant title challenge three years ago.

“Nine goals so far this season, with eight assists to boot, Sterling is flourishing under Guardiola.”

That’s all for today, Blues, but we’ll be back again tomorrow with more City-centric headlines to start your day.

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