In the eye of transfer rumors linking him to Serie A leaders Juventus, Gabriel Jesus perhaps delivered one of Manchester City’s most gratifying goals as of late.
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The Brazilian striker’s short-range unbalanced shot in the 80th minute proved to be City’s winner on Saturday against Leicester City, solidifying a six-point lead on the Foxes, who squandered a handful of chances throughout the night.
Jesus was quick to redirect praise to teammate Riyad Mahrez, who to many, was player-of-the-match quality at King Power Stadium. The Algerian winger’s wizardry was on full displaying, especially in the sequence leading up to the defending champions’ winner. From the BBC:
“Always when I go on I try to help my team-mates and find space,” Jesus said. “[Riyad Mahrez] has a lot of quality and I thought ‘go’ because I know he has the quality to give me the ball, he gave a very good ball and I can score.”
Despite not being directly questioned about the Juventus link, Jesus indirectly made it clear that, like manager Pep Guardiola, who confessed his future stands in Manchester, he hopes to respect his contract at the Etihad.
“It is important for us, for the club,” the 22-year-old said about Guardiola confirming his stay at City. “We have a contract, we want to stay, of course it’s important.”
From City’s future Champions League ban, to Guardiola’s rumored departure, to the Leicester match, the topic of conversation around the club now revolves around their Round of 16 showdown with Real Madrid midweek.
It seems the storm has passed and the sun is starting to shine over the Etihad, and Guardiola senses that.
“The preparation after 12 days off was good, we have played two good games, and it’s good to prepare for Madrid with these good opponents,” he said. “We are playing the kings of the competition, we will see, we will try to enjoy it and do our game.”