Match Coverage

Manchester City 2-1 Swansea: What We Learned

It was Gabriel Jesus day at the Etihad Stadium today after a brace sealed an important victory to take Manchester City third in the table. His late effort gave City their third win a row and Anis waxed lyrical about the teenage superstar.

Gabriel Jesus, the star of tomorrow, here today

“I am cold and have been since a very young age,” revealed Gabriel Jesus yesterday. “Everyone that saw me growing up, knows that.”

“Of course I have feelings, but I am cold and that helps me a lot to deal with pressure and not feel any at all.”

Jesus is only nineteen years old but he’s already secured his big move to Europe, claimed the #9 shirt for Brazil and benched one of the best strikers in world football at his new club. You could excuse him for not showing a little emotion when it has already taken him so far in such a short space of time.

For a player who has been onshore for little less than a month, Jesus’ impact has been outstanding. In only his fourth game for City and after just three starts, he has left a sizeable impression on fans not just at City, but across the Premier League and around the world of football. His three goals for Manchester City (and a further two assists) have reignited Guardiola’s faltering league campaign which had looked set for a nervy top four battle. Instead, City now have eyes for only Chelsea, confident that they are definitely the best of The Other Bunch lagging behind the Premier League leaders.

And this Brazilian teenager has been at the heart of that revival with every performance further validating Pep Guardiola’s insistence that he should be our first choice striker at this present time. Gabriel Jesus has condemned Sergio Aguero to a most uncustomary position at Manchester City – on the bench – and ensured City haven’t missed him one tick.

Victory from the jaws of disappointment

With the game locked at 1-1 in the dying embers of the game, it was an all too familiar scene for some. Manchester City had controlled proceedings, yet found themselves at the cusp of dropping more points to weaker opposition at home. This had been a common theme throughout the season. Play well, don’t take your chances and then waver under the first moment of pressure. Some fans left the stadium early, while the rest stayed and hoped. But everyone suspected the same end result. How could they not? Virtually every home game that didn’t result in a win played out just as so and it’s not as if City had found it in themselves to score a late winner this season before either.

But somehow Silva found space out-wide from the right; he cut in and waved a ball over and onto Jesus’ head. Fabianski saved but the ball was loose and Jesus nipped in again to prod it home. It was divine intervention. A kid, who everyone had implored patience with, had done it again.

There was pandemonium across the ground, celebrations and cheers rarely seen on this scale at the Etihad this season. Finally, their saviour had arrived.

Gabriel Jesus, Man of the Match

It’s not often I dedicate an entire column to one event, let alone one player but I think this is the exception. Gabriel Jesus is an exceptionable player and to ponder whether we deserved that or if we can finally go on a run to put pressure on Chelsea is pointless at this time.

In truth, there weren’t many good performances today. Fernandinho did fine as a false right-back, Yaya Touré and Silva were good, but other players, particularly the wingers, failed to impress. It’s convenient then that Jesus should step up when he did. He pressed and ran hard, as Pep likes, but he also got involved in the game, actively influencing proceedings and not waiting on the periphery for someone else to feed him. His awareness is probably his most remarkable feature, especially when you consider his age and lack of experience. He knows where to be on the pitch and when. You rarely find him in the wrong position and City’s attack is better for it. He is superb in tight spaces and he can hold up the ball just as well as he can lay it off (his back-heel to Silva was deserving of a goal). Jesus is an intense player, a fighter and combines with his team-mates as well as any other player in this side. Manchester City have found a gem and Sergio Aguero is going to find it very hard getting back into this team.

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