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Pep Guardiola: 'John Stones is back to his best'

Pep Guardiola: 'John Stones is back to his best'
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Pep Guardiola believes the 26-year-old deserves plenty of praise for his form so far this season.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has praised John Stones for turning around his fortunes at the club.

City looked resolute at the back throughout their 1-0 win at in-form Southampton on Saturday and have recorded one more clean sheet than at this point last season.

Guardiola credited Stones' contribution in particular, and said: "Excellent. He's back. He has turned his situation perfectly.

"He played really, really well with Ruben (Dias) as well, all of the back four were so brilliant defensively because it's not easy. They have a lot of players there and it's not easy."

Stones has been inconsistent since joining City from Everton in 2016 and was limited to just 24 appearances last season.

He has featured 10 times so far this season, and Guardiola believes the 26-year-old deserves plenty of praise.

"He has been here more than five seasons and knows exactly what you have to do, what he has to do," Guardiola added. "Unfortunately he could not do it in the previous years but now he has done it. It was himself, he settled perfectly in what he would like, no injuries, and showed his personality with and without the ball.

"We are delighted, and especially because he's an incredibly nice person. His mum and dad must be so proud of how nice a person he is and his daughter has a top father.

"He has to continue being in the right position and doing what he has done through this season."

Raheem Sterling converted a Kevin De Bruyne cross for the only goal of the game, with City claiming a sixth clean sheet of the Premier League season.

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl praised his side's organisation and played down their aspirations after the defeat saw them slip out of the top four.

"I don't know that we have the quality to stay up there that long because over a long time the quality of the individual bodies is also a big part of the game and I think other teams have a lot more options than we have," the Austrian said.

"But, and I think this is one thing that we can be really proud of, we are one of the better organised teams in this league.

"We show this every week, and with this it is always possible to take some points."

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Jordan Henderson celebrates scoring for Liverpool against Crystal Palace in the Premier League on December 19, 2020
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States19201352
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia11151238
Great BritainGreat Britain9101231
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events

· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Scottish Premiership
Pre-Season Friendlies
Trophee des Champions
Taca da Liga
Belgian Pro League
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Swedish Allsvenskan
Danish Superliga
Belarusian Premier League
Major League Soccer
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX

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