It’s no coincidence that Man City’s recent record-breaking win streak has coincided with Ruben Dias and John Stones forming the most formidable defensive partnership in the Premier League.
Ruben Dias’ transfer from Benfica in the summer for £61.2m raised eyebrows as it took City’s spending on defenders to over £400m since Pep Guardiola’s arrival at the club – but it’s definitely been money well spent, with the Portuguese international having an incredible influence on the team.
Alongside John Stones, City have amassed the best defensive record in Europe conceding just 17 goals in 27 league games as a team. But as a duo, the numbers are even more impressive. Let’s take a look at the best stats from their partnership.
City are the highest scoring team in the league and the team to concede the least amount of goals so far – and both of those starts are largely down to the incredible work of Stones and Dias.
As a partnership, Dias and Stones have conceded just four goals in 17 games together, and have actually scored more goals than they’ve conceded – .with the England defender bagging four and Dias bagging one.
While City have conceded in consecutive games four times this season, they haven’t done so with this defensive pairing.
An incredible run of consistency, City went on a run of 16 clean sheets in 20 consecutive games at one point in all competitions.
While it’s probably not a shock for Manchester City to be top of the passing charts in the Premier League, it’s remarkable that their two central defenders are top individually too.
From an average of 83.8 and 83.5 passes per game each respectively, Stones tops the pass success percentage with 93.7%, while Dias trails just behind him with 93.4%.
Behind them lies Thiago Silva with 93.2% from an average of 88 passes. Bernardo Silva is the closest City player, with 91.2% success rate from 51.2 passes per game.
City’s 17 goals conceded in 27 games is their best defensive record in Premier League history and by some distance. In fact it’s only been bettered six times by any club at this stage of the season.
Liverpool in 2018/19 had conceded 15 at this point, Manchester United had conceded 15 in 2007/08 and 11 in 2008/09, and Arsenal had conceded 13 in 1998/99.
Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea sides lead the way having conceded 16 in 2005/06, but only EIGHT after 27 games in their record breaking 2004/05 season – where they conceded just 15 in the entire campaign.
In the Premier League, people expect defenders to be aggressive in order to win their individuals duels. City’s partnership have shown you can do that without committing fouls though.
Between them, they have conceded just 20 fouls this season with Stones conceding only four himself. In comparison, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof have committed 51 combined.