John Stones’ return from injury can only be good news for England.
Pep Guardiola had Stones playing the best football of his career before a hamstring injury halted his progress.
A return on 2 January in the 3-1 win against Watford was followed up by another start against Burnley in the FA Cup.
But it’s fair to say he’s still finding his feet.
Stones was at fault for Burnley’s opening goal after Sean Dyche’s side took a surprise lead at the Etihad.
It all started, as most good defensive mistakes do, with a long heave up the pitch by the goalkeeper.
Nick Pope’s long ball was flicked on by Sam Vokes, but with Stones and Nicolas Otamendi in the vicinity all looked under control.
But Stones, who is such an elegant defender, chose to smash the ball back into Burnley’s half rather than take it down and play.
He sliced the ball, inadvertently putting Barnes through on goal.
Barnes was only too happy to take the gift and smashed the ball past Claudio Bravo at the near post.
That’s what you get for trying to play route one football.
Luckily Sergio Aguero was on hand to bail Stones out and score two goals in quick succession to turn the game around.
That’s what friends are for.
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