Men's Team

John Stones: Champions in focus

Our latest series takes a look at each City player’s contribution to what has been another truly memorable campaign.

A dramatic 3-2 triumph on the final day of the season against Aston Villa earned City the win we needed to claim a fourth title in five seasons.

Each member of Pep Guardiola’s squad played their part in that success, while we also reached the semi-finals of the Champions League and FA Cup.

Today, the spotlight is on England centre-half, John Stones

Stats

Total appearances (all competitions): 27

Total goals: 2

Premier League appearances: 14

Total cumulative minutes (all competitions): 2,159

Season highlight

A mixture of injuries and the form of Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte limited Stones’ involvement across 2021/22, but the defender still stepped up when it mattered for City.

And there was no better demonstration of his importance than in our hard-fought Champions League quarter-final triumph against Atletico Madrid.

Stones played every minute of each leg, as Guardiola’s men edged past the Spanish champions by a single goal, but his second leg performance at the Wanda Metropolitano stands out.

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In a hostile environment, the defender’s composure on the ball and tenacity off it helped to drag City through a particularly difficult encounter.

His man of the match performance was epitomised by a crucial late block to deny Angel Correa from close-range.

The Argentine forward pounced on a loose ball inside the City box and looked destined to force extra time, but Stones was on hand to deflect his effort behind for a corner.

Without the defender’s timely intervention, it could have been a very different story.

Overview

Any team entering fighting for silverware on multiple fronts is likely to feel the effect of injuries and fatigue.

In these moments, when versatility and positional intelligence is key, it is players like Stones who are worth their weight in gold.

Comfortable operating outside of his favoured role in the heart of defence, the 28-year-old excelled when the needs of the squad meant he was called upon to fill in at right back – a position he had previously played sporadically at both Barnsley and Everton in his younger years.

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The England international grabbed his first goal of the season when brought in against Leeds in December 2021 and followed that up with further commanding displays against Brentford, Everton and Aston Villa in the Premier League.

Stones was even trusted in the position in both our Champions League Last 16 first leg against Sporting CP and when we welcomed Real Madrid to the Etihad Stadium two months later.

City would win each of those matches, with the defender more than playing his part on each occasion.

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