Manchester City showing 'signs of a great team' following 20 successive victories, says Stones

John Stones Manchester City 2020-21
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The England international talked up the Premier League leaders' mental toughness after their hard-fought win over West Ham on Saturday afternoon

John Stones says Manchester City's battling spirit is a "sign of a great team".

City picked up their 20th successive victory across all competitions by beating West Ham 2-1 at Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola's men were made to work hard for the three points against a well organised Hammers outfit, and Stones was pleased with the mental toughness the squad showed to extend their unprecedented winning run.

What was said?

"We knew we were going to have a battle," said Stones. "Massive credit to West Ham and how they set up. We had to dig deep and they made it really difficult for us.

"We were a bit deflated after conceding late in the first half but we had to show our character and our experience, come out in the second half and fight like we always have done.

"I feel we put our hearts on our sleeves, really dug in and the defensive work from everyone, I think is the sign of a great team and hopefully things to come."

How did City get the better of West Ham?

After a tense first half-hour of action, City finally made the breakthrough when Ruben Dias headed home a pinpoint Kevin de Bruyne cross after a clever run in behind the Hammers defence.

The hosts were stunned when Antionio equalised with a close-range finish right on half-time, but the Premier League leaders were not to be denied.

City stepped up a gear in the second period and eventually got their reward when Stones smashed into the net after being set up by Riyad Mahrez in the 68th minute.

Asked to discuss his and Dias' contribution in the final third, Stones responded: "We're trying to chip in and get our goals, and they were two important ones. It's great for us and great for the team that everyone is contributing with goals, getting on the scoresheet, getting that momentum. Hopefully it continues."

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What's next?

City will be back in Premier League action at home to Wolves on Tuesday, with that fixture coming just five days before they are due to face arch-rivals Manchester United.

Guardiola's men are now sitting 13 points ahead of the second-placed Red Devils in the table having played one game more, and look well placed to wrestle the title back from Liverpool come May.

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