Chelsea win is just what we needed, says Stones after his man of the match performance at Stamford Bridge
Manchester City defender John Stones has emphasised the significance of City’s 1-0 Premier League victory over Chelsea after last weekend’s draw with Everton.
Second-half substitute Riyad Mahrez struck the winner in the 63rd minute of the game, connecting with Jack Grealish’s cross to tap into an empty net at the back post.
Both sides stuck the post in an entertaining encounter at Stamford Bridge, but Stones believes that Man City’s dominance after the interval proved to be the difference.
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“It’s a big three points, especially after the other day. The overriding feeling was we dropped two points and we wanted to put it right.
Especially, the way we played in the second half was brilliant and to come away with three points is just what we needed.
We rushed our play in the first half. We tried to play too many crucial passes and didn’t retain the ball as well as we can. Credit to Chelsea they were compact and we couldn’t get many balls through the lines.
It all came together in the second half. A few big moments too, blocks and defending. We’ve been working on that in training and it came off today.”
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The Englishman was named as the Player of the Match after a solid performance at the back. He had the most touches of any player (102), completed 98% of his passes (85/87), won all of his aerial duels (4/4), and made the most clearances of any City player in a dominant display.
The centre-back believes that his spells on the sidelines earlier in his career helped him come back even stronger.
“I feel like I’ve been in it for the past two or three years. It’s just kind of clicked,” he admitted.
“I had to work at my game and I came back and started playing after over a year. It made me a better player and a better person. I try to give as much as I can for the team too.”
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The victory now leaves Pep Guardiola’s side five points behind league leaders Arsenal, but Stones believes that it is still too early to focus on the title with plenty of points still left to play for.
“We don’t focus on the table so early. There are 63 points to play for, we have to take it game at a time.
In previous years we’ve been on winning runs, we have to keep the momentum going. If we play like we did today then we can go all the way this season.”