Man City matchwinner Stones hails De Bruyne pass: I don’t know how he’s done that!

John Stones Manchester City 2020-21
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The England defender hailed the playmaker, who reached his 100th assist for Manchester City in spectacular fashion

Manchester City had an unlikely goal hero in their 4-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday as John Stones scored twice – and the centre-back paid tribute to the vision of team-mate Kevin De Bruyne on his opener.

Stones scored City’s first and third goals in a routine victory that took his side up to second in the table.

One of the major talking points, though, was De Bruyne’s brilliant outside-of-the-boot cross for the centre-back’s opener. Fittingly, it was his 100th assist for the club.

“Kevin De Bruyne has done that over the years he has been here, some outrageous passes where you think 'I don't know how he's done that.' It came straight to me - it's something we can only dream of and he can do it when he wants,” he told Sky Sports.

Meanwhile, Stones reflected on his personal contribution at both ends of the field.

"Two goals for myself, it's been a long time!” he exclaimed.

"My last one was against Manchester United, I know that. I put pressure on myself to score goals, I need to contribute and bring that to my game. Today it clicked and the hard work on the training pitch on set pieces is paying off.”

Stones has worked hard to earn himself a starting berth at the Etihad after a long period on the periphery.

“It's tough when you're not playing or don't perform to your best. I went back to basics, looked at myself first and what I could improve. I had to keep fighting and keep believing in myself. I did that, kept the faith and kept grinding away,” he said.

“I'm still trying to improve.”

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Indeed, City’s defensive record has been formidable in recent times – a far cry from the fragile unit their rearguard was previously considered to be.

"If we can keep clean sheets we don't have to come out and score four goals every week. The whole team deserve credit for how they press and stop attacks coming to us,” Stones said.

City are next in action when they tackle Aston Villa at home on Wednesday, with an FA Cup trip to Cheltenham to follow at the weekend.

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