John Stones scores first two goals for Man City as Kevin De Bruyne hits assist landmark in thumping victory over Crystal Palace January 18, 2021 – Posted in: Soccer

John Stones’ resurgence in form has been a major talking point this season with the Manchester City defender on the verge of securing an England recall.

The 26-year-old, who became the second most expensive defender in history when he joined City from Everton in 2016, was tipped to leave the club over the summer after falling out of favour with Pep Guardiola.

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John Stones scored a brace for City on a night to remember for the defender

MAN CITY WITH AND WITHOUT JOHN STONES IN PL THIS SEASON

Games: 9 with, 8 without

Wins: 8 with, 2 without

Conceded: 2 with, 11 without

Win percentage: 88% with, 25% without

Points per game:  2.8 with, 1.3 without

That has made his impressive form this season even more telling, with Gareth Southgate said to be keeping a close eye on Stones’ progress.

And the Three Lions boss would have been mightily impressed with what he saw from Stones on Saturday as he grabbed a brace of goals either side of the break – his first in a City shirt – to move Guardiola’s men to within two points of arch nemesis Manchester United at the top following a 4-0 victory against Crystal Palace.

It was worth the wait for Stones, whose last Premier League goal came for Everton against Manchester United in April 2015.

Kevin De Bruyne was the architect for City’s opener, providing his 100th assist since joining the club in 2015, as Stones rose highest to head past Vicente Guaita.

Kevin De Bruyne has been a revelation for Man City since joining the club from Wolfsburg

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Kevin De Bruyne has been a revelation for Man City since joining the club from Wolfsburg

City doubled their lead 11 minutes into the second half with a superb strike from Ilkay Gundogan.

The Germany midfielder won the ball on the edge of the area from Andros Townsend and then curled a stunning effort into the top corner.

City made it 3-0 on 68 minutes as Stones grabbed his second, netting with a powerful shot after Guaita had kept out a Ruben Dias header.

Raheem Sterling atoned for his penalty miss against Brighton last time out with a sumptuous free-kick to add gloss to the scoreline late on.

 

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