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John Stones of Manchester City and Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire were both heavily involved as England beat Poland to seal a solid international break for Gareth Southgate.
The Three Lions got off to a perfect start after Harry Kane slotted home from the spot after Raheem Sterling was fouled, but the second half wasn’t so bright.
After Stones was caught in possession in a throwback to his former ways, Jakub Modor fired past Nick Pope as the visitors looked to have done enough to claim a point.
However, Stones rose highest to keep a corner alive allowing Maguire to thrash home from inside the box to hand England a final three points before they head back to their clubs.
That has kickstarted the debate between the two central defenders, who look to be the first-choice pairing for Southgate ahead of the European Championships this summer.
One fan wrote on social media: “I’m sorry but if you actually think Stones > Maguire you probably just follow football through Twitter memes.”
Another said: "We all saw the goal it was all Stones. Maguire doesn’t even begin to think of what stones did.”
A third chipped in with: “Maguire is better for England but Stones is better at club level.”
With a fourth deciding: "Please don't ever disrespect Harry Maguire again & say that John Stones is England's best central defender. Maguire is head and shoulders above."
Maguire picked out Stones to celebrate with following the late winner, showing that the pair are just as unified as they were at the successful 2018 World Cup.
Maguire told ITV Sport of his colleague after the match: "John has been brilliant this year.
“Defenders make mistakes and when we do we get scrutinised. He made up for it with a great header at the back post. I said to him to just keep going.
“We don't like making mistakes but sometimes we are at fault for goals. We are not perfect. He is in great form and he will come back strong."
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Having said of their relationship off the pitch earlier this week: "We always speak away from football. He's a good friend. I grew up with him, I grew up playing against him when he was at Barnsley.
"We're not far from each other where we actually grew up and lived and come through. When you play centre back especially, week in, week out you're going to have some ups, you're going have some downs, you're going to be at fault.
You're not going to go throughout your career without being at fault for goals, so you get scrutinised when you play in the Premier League so you expect that.
"It's about how strong you are mentally and how you can come through it. I'm pleased to see John. He's back playing and back playing with confidence, back playing really well. For myself, I feel exactly the same."
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- England Football Team
- Manchester City FC
- Manchester United FC
- Gareth Southgate
- Harry Maguire
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