Manchester City’s barnstorming attack has seen them garner all the plaudits but centre-back John Stones feels that shoring up their defence has been vital to to their sensational start to the 2017-18 season as well.
Goals from Sergio Aguero, Nicolas Otamendi and Leroy Sane saw them romp to a 3-0 home win over Burnley on Saturday, opening up five-point gap over second-placed Manchester United at the top of the Premier League table.
“For me, (the clean sheets) have been massive this season, creating that platform for the boys to go and score,” Stones was quoted as saying by the club website.
City’s defence was slated for its inconsistency last season, but this time round they have been extremely miserly at the back, conceding just four times in eight league games.
“Not just me, it’s the whole team that are getting the clean sheets. The more we keep, the more chance we’ve got of winning games,” the 23-year-old effused.
Not only are City ahead of the chasing pack in England, but are topping their Champions League group as well. In Europe City have kept two clean sheets in three games, winning all three to maintain an impressive 100 percent record.
“It’s a combination of everything, really. The hard work on the training pitch, the players – everything is coming together and the desire to keep winning and keep keeping clean sheets, that confidence to take it into each game,” is massive, Stones, who signed for City in a £47.5 million deal last summer, revealed.
Pep Guardiola’s men have kept six clean sheets from nine games so far and have scored a mind-boggling 32 goals to emerge as title favourites despite it being early days.
“The longer we keep doing that and keep striving for these things, it will keep coming each week and each game,” Stones added.