Belfast Telegraph

John Stones focus

John Stones endured a nightmare first return to Goodison Park as Manchester City lost 4-0 to Everton on Sunday.

Here, Press Association Sport assesses how Stones fared.


Stones, whose relationship with Everton fans was rocky at times during his time with the club, was booed by some supporters when he got his first touch in the early seconds and there were a few more jeers for the 22-year-old as the first half went on, although it was nothing too vociferous.

That changed early in the second half, soon after his attempt to regain possession contributed to the build-up to Everton's second goal. Toffees fans sensed he was vulnerable, and hoping to make the most of it, booed loudly the next time Stones was in possession.

It appeared to be having an impact midway through the second period when Stones completely sliced the ball as he tried to hoof it clear with Romelu Lukaku lurking, and he definitely looked to be struggling late on as Everton wrapped up their comprehensive victory.


Stones' ball-playing style - often the source of the frustration from Everton fans during his time with the club - was a big part of why he was brought to City, and he did his best to showcase a calm, passing game at the back - but the truth was the visitors' whole defence looked pretty nervy throughout this contest.

In the 20th minute they got away with a misunderstanding between Stones and goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, and they were collectively caught out when Everton took the lead through Lukaku in the 34th as the hosts seized upon a misplaced pass from Gael Clichy.

Stones was then directly involved as Everton made it 2-0 two minutes after the break, trying to cut out a Lukaku pass only to see the ball divert to Ross Barkley, who teed up Kevin Mirallas.

And he was unable to stop Ronald Koeman's men adding a third via Tom Davies, before his mistake led to substitute Ademola Lookman notching the fourth.


Certainly a less than enjoyable outing for the England international, which concluded with Everton fans singing at him gleefully: "Stonesy, what's the score?"


From Belfast Telegraph