John Stones was at the heart of Everton's defence against Manchester City despite continuing reports of interest from Chelsea. Here, we take a look at his performance.
If the constant speculation over his future was unsettling Stones - as some reports claiming he is ready to hand in a transfer request might suggest - he was not letting it show. The 21-year-old looked relaxed as he arrived at the ground and he remained composed throughout the game. Everton's strong defence was eventually pierced by City but Stones' performance was a solid one.
Stones' partnership with Phil Jagielka was firm throughout the game and he appeared to do little wrong. He looked comfortable on the ball and cleared his lines well without doing anything spectacular.
Everton 0 Manchester City 2 player ratings
Everton 0 Manchester City 2 player ratings
1/22 Evetton: Howard
The busier of the two goalkeepers. Could do very little about both the goals. 6
Delivered a master-class in the second half, dealing with Sterling, which makes you wonder why the likes of Chelsea are not looking in his direction too. 8
Seemed unabashed by the speculation linking him with a switch to Chelsea. The England man was as assured and composed as ever. 7
The commanding centre-back was his typically industrious self and could have scored a goal had his first-half header been a few inches lower. 7
Allowed his inexperience to show during a first half in which he was tasked with facing the likes of Raheem Sterling and Jesus Navas on the flanks. 5
Posed a series of difficult questions which City struggled to answer but lacked the cutting edge required to make his mark. 7
The former Aston Villa man cut an assured figure for long periods, managing the pace of the game and offloading to ball to teammates in decent positions. 7
Occasionally mocked by supporters of other clubs but Roberto Martinez's teachers' pet is a valuable commodity for the former Wigan manager. 7
Seems to have benefited from the Everton spotlight being directed at John Stones but Barkley will be disappointed by his shift today. 7
A decent, if unremarkable, display from the former Manchester United man. Held up play competently but struggled with the power of Toure. 6
Seems to have a point to prove this season. The Belgian international ran himself into the ground but lacked the final touch needed to carve City open. 7
12/22 Man City: Hart
Had precious little to do but managed to collect another clean sheet. 7
Often seen galloping down the right wing, providing invaluable support for Navas, the Frenchman has become an vital attacking source for City's title bid. 7
After two goals in two, Kompany was back to his imperious best at the back as Everton pushed for an equaliser. 8
With City strengthening their defensive options, many would be forgiven for assuming Mangala's time is up. The former Porto man, however, has other ideas. 8
Another masterly display from City's Mr Reliable. The left-back deserved his goal after excelling down the left-flank alongside Sterling. 8
Gave away a series of foolish free-kicks and picked up a silly yellow card which rendered him toothless for the rest of the match. 6
Marshalled his midfield teammates expertly as the going got tough in the latter stages. A continued source of strength. 7
19/22 Jesus Navas
With a box of tricks enough to unlock any defence in the league, Navas combined well with Silva with alarming ease. An encouraging outing from the Spaniard. 8
Desperately unlucky not to score with an effort which cannoned off the post in the second half. The Spaniard delivered his usual blend of guile and trickery to have Everton worried. A joy to watch. 9
Booed at regular intervals by the Everton fans, presumably for his Liverpool connections, the England man was a menace throughout. 8
Like last week, the Argentine squandered a host of opportunities in the first half which could have cost his side dearly. Aguero was willing to put in a shift as Everton turned the screw however. 7
Given the tough job of keeping an eye on Sergio Aguero, Stones was kept busy but he coped with the task well. He was caught out by the Argentinian and conceded a free-kick in a dangerous position late in the first half but he was generally sound.
Performances such as these, against a side with formidable attacking resources and in top form, are the reason why Chelsea are interested in Stones. Most observers believe he still has much improvement to make and that may come as he gains experience. He looks to have a long career ahead of him and seems destined to end up at the top of the game, whether that comes sooner or later.Reuse content