Pep Guardiola‘s Manchester City won a third-straight Premier League game on Monday.
It came at a cost.
[ MORE: Reaction to City’s win ]
In the 2-0 win at Bournemouth Brazilian teenager Gabriel Jesus came off injured in the first half with a right foot injury. City will have to wait until later on Tuesday to find out the extent of his injury and Guardioa is hoping it isn’t as bad as they fear.
Speaking after the win, which closes the gap to leaders Chelsea to eight points, Pep will “pray” for Jesus but is confident Sergio Aguero (who replaced Jesus and made an impact as Tyrone Mings bundled home after City’s second goal under pressure from the Argentine) can step in seamlessly.
“We will know exactly what is wrong in the morning,” Guardiola said. “Hopefully, and I will pray tonight, it will not be a big issue. But I’m so happy for Sergio, for how he played, how he tried, and I thought he had scored. He hadn’t played the last few games because these three guys – Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling – were amazing but Sergio was important for us before this game and he is still important for us now.”
All of the talk around City has been about Jesus taking Aguero’s place in the starting lineup in recent weeks and Guardiola admitted over the weekend that Aguero could leave in the summer.
However, with the extent of Jesus’ injury unknown, now Aguero has the chance to step in and show his undoubted quality as surging City have big games coming up in the UEFA Champions League, the FA Cup and of course the Premier League as they now seem the most likely in the chasing pack to hunt down leaders Chelsea.
After City beat Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Monday, Guardiola made a point of embracing Cherries midfielder Harry Arter on the pitch at the end of the game.
Arter, 27, has received support from all across the soccer community after his daughter Renee tragically died at birth in December 2015. Arter and his partner Rachel announced in October 2016 that they are expecting a child which is due to be born later this week. The Republic of Ireland international revealed exactly what Pep said to him on the pitch.
“He offered his best wishes for me and my partner this week, which was an unbelievable touch,” Arter told the Daily Echo. “He is someone I have a massive amount of respect for. I watched his Barcelona teams, and look at his Manchester City side. For me, he is the best manager in the world. I don’t think there’s anybody close to him and what he has achieved. For him to offer that to me, I respected it and accepted it with a smile on my face.”
Guardiola was asked about his gesture after the game.
“He will be a father soon so I said big congratulations to him and his partner because I know what happened in the past, and, hopefully, the baby will be well.”
A lovely gesture from Guardiola.