7 remarkable stats behind Stones and Dias’ role in Man City’s defensive record

Quick Reads

Manchester City‘s title challenge so far this season has been built on the solid foundations of an exceptional defence. 

Gareth Southgate is said to be planning to recall John Stones back for England, such has been his resurgence, which looks to have been aided by the arrival of Ruben Dias, who has slotted in seamlessly.

We’ve looked at eight stats that illustrate quite how well City are doing defensively this season, and how important their new-look partnership has been in that.

– Man City have conceded just two goals with Stones on the pitch so far this season. That works out as a goal conceded every 600 minutes with the centre-half in the team.

– One of those two goals conceded was in City’s first match of the campaign, a 3-1 win over Wolves. Since then, Callum Hudson-Odoi’s injury-time consolation goal for Chelsea is the only goal City have let in Stones’ last 1123 minutes on the pitch. It’s also the only goal conceded with him and Dias at the back together.

– Since losing 5-2 to Leicester in September, City have let in just seven goals in their last 15 league games. 38% of their Premier League goals this season conceded came in that defeat.

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READ: Rating the £421m Pep Guardiola has spent on his Manchester City defence

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– In terms of goals conceded, City are broadly consistent with the underlying statistics – 13 goals shipped from 13.5xGA (expected goals against). That’s the best record in the league – ahead of Aston Villa (17.6xGA) (via FBref.com)

– They have allowed the opposition just 35 shots on target. That’s 17 fewer than the next-best record, Chelsea, with 52. Tottenham, for example, have faced more than twice as many (71).

– As well as boasting the best defensive record in the division, Ederson has also been left with little to do. City’s keepers have made just 26 saves in the league – the fewest of any Premier League side.

– City haven’t been required to get stuck in to keep the opposition at bay. They register just 14.6 tackles per 90 minutes – only Arsenal average fewer – and the lowest in their own defensive third (5.59 per 90). “What are tackles?

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