EPL

John Stones: Treble repeat a real possibility for Manchester City

By Sports Desk February 25, 2024

John Stones has insisted Manchester City believe another treble is a possibility this season.

City tasted Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup success last year and remain in each of those competitions.

A hard-fought 1-0 win at Bournemouth on Saturday helped Pep Guardiola’s team close the gap to divisional leaders Liverpool to one point before they turn their attention to Tuesday’s trip to Luton in the FA Cup fifth round.

“That’s what we’re all here for and what everyone wants us to do. We want to try recreate what we did last season and that’s still possible,” Stones said.

“Games like this are one of the reasons why we made that possible last season.

“So, we go to the next game and have the same focus, try to do the same thing, get another win and move on to the next stage. The team we’ve got, the squad we’ve got, I’m sure we can do it.”

England defender Stones was at his versatile best against Bournemouth, regularly stepping into midfield and dominant in possession.

Phil Foden’s first-half tap-in earned the champions a 15th win from their last 17 matches.

It was also City’s third clean sheet from their last four league fixtures, but it only came after Marcus Tavernier squandered two fine chances, Ederson thwarted Dominic Solanke and Enes Unal headed a golden opportunity wide in stoppage-time.

Stones told the official club website: “I thought Phil was incredible.

“To come away with the three points is just what we wanted.

“It was something we’re so pleased with, you know how we dug in right until the end. It is never easy to come here and think you will dominate for 95 minutes.

“We came through the tough times, which is so important and while you’ll in it, it is not nice but when you come through it, we’re really proud of ourselves and pleased to keep another clean sheet against a team that threw everything at it.”

Bournemouth’s efforts after the break arguably warranted a point, but their winless league run now sits at seven matches.

 

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The Cherries have won twice in 2024 – both in the FA Cup – and they turn their focus back to that competition when Sky Bet Championship leaders Leicester visit Vitality Stadium on Tuesday.

Defender Lloyd Kelly (hip) is set to be absent and while boss Andoni Iraola was delighted with their display on Saturday, he warned a repeat is not guaranteed.

“I think the only thing is probably it gives more hope for the next games if we can keep this level, but it is not a guarantee,” Iraola pointed out.

“There is no guarantee that we will play next week the same we did here.

“Different games, different approaches. We have to see how we recover because we have a very demanding game in the cup against Leicester.

“They have one day more for rest and I think it is a big advantage. For us, it is also a very important game.”

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