Phil Jones continued his run of excellent performances with a dominant display against Tottenham Hotspur in Manchester United’s 1-0 win at Old Trafford.
Alongside Marcos Rojo in a makeshift defence, Jones was imperious up against a tricky Spurs front line with the likes of Harry Kane and Delle Ali. Whatever Spurs threw at him, Jones swatted it back and after years of misfortune and frustration due to injuries he’s progressed so much this season under Jose Mourinho.
In particular it was Jones’ tackle in the 95th minute against Danny Rose in the penalty box which stands out for me. He needed to get that timing absolutely spot on and even though Rose went down elaborately to try and con the referee, he was having none of it.
One look at his stats from the game shows just how impressive Jones was:
Phil Jones' game by numbers vs. Spurs:
100% aerial duels won
2 tackles won
1 clean sheet
Rock solid. pic.twitter.com/zkbqFq9aRU
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 11, 2016
I didn’t think we would ever see Jones play five or six games in succession because he’s always been plagued by injury. Something has changed for the better under Mourinho and like Chris Smalling with Louis van Gaal, he’s come on leaps and bounds in a short space of time.
Eric Bailly is yet to come back into this defence but it looks like he could well have Jones as his defensive partner and I tell you what, that’s a defence which has got genuine potential. I thought Smalling would be Bailly’s preferred partner, Jones clearly had other ideas.