Eric Bailly speaks out about his partnership with Phil Jones at Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer

Eric Bailly has been discussing his superb partnership with Phil Jones at Manchester United so far this season.

The pair have been an indomitable force ever since Jose Mourinho started them together against Manchester City in pre-season, claiming six clean sheets from their opening seven Premier League games.

Only Stoke City’s Jean-Eric Choupo-Moting has scored past the pair back when the two sides’s played out a 2-2 draw at the Bet365 Stadium last month.

And Bailly, speaking to the club’s official website, was quick to note that he had developed a strong relationship with Jones on the pitch.

“It’s good, there’s a good relationship between Phil and me, and with the other two defenders, Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling, even though we’ve not had the chance to play together yet,” he said.

“It’s fine in my view because there are four of us defenders and everyone is ready to make the most of the opportunities the manager gives us. To defend as well as possible and concede less goals, that’s the aim for all of us.”

The last thing you need when competing at the top is for your defenders to let you down unnecessarily. Liverpool, for example, have failed to win six of their last seven games precisely because errors at the back continue to cancel out their attacking fervour.

And in this sense, Jones and Bailly have been superb. They have hardly let their guard down against lesser sides this season, providing the perfect platform for United to take the game away from opponents.

Whether they can replicate such assurance against the very best, however, remains to be seen. The real tests will come when the pair have to stop the likes of Sadio Mane, Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero.

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