Gabriel Jesus: relentless, tenacious, and now ahead of Agüero?

Gabriel Jesus has a harrying physical presence, an intensity that isn’t dissipated away from the comforts of the Etihad Stadium

Part of the thinking behind the signing of Brazilian was that he would in time become City’s most effective striker. Perhaps this has now happened
Glory, glory Hallelujah, é Gabriel Jesus. The busker outside the Maracanã knew his audience. For a short time the walkway to the stadium was closed before Brazil’s Olympic final, the pre-match crowd backing up down the steps as fans in yellow shirts sang along to the in-vogue dirge of the Rio games, a chant set to the tune of the US war song about John Brown’s body mouldering in his grave, and adapted here to require within the feats of a slightly-built 19-year-old utility attacker from the northern slums of Sao Paulo. judi bola online terpercaya

Six months on from the Rio Games Jesus would find himself looking a touch cold and sad on breaks from hotel life in wintry Lancashire, a latecomer to the primary raft of players to hitch Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. Fast forward another three years, 38 goals, four trophies and two semi-serious injuries, and City’s roving centre-forward produced his best moment so far during a sky blue shirt on Wednesday night.

There were many fine performance at the Bernabéu. Jesus was something else, contact on a masterful display of deep attacking craft during a performance which may yet prove transformative, not only for himself except for the trajectory of this team. Glory indeed. But what next? Perhaps the solution lies in remembering how high his sights have always been set. Jesus is an unusual Brazilian in one sense: back home they really do skills good he’s .

Unlike other teenaged exiles he took a while to bloom before the inevitable European move, scoring 37 times in 22 games within the under-17 championships, getting himself sent off for fighting (a decent PR move in itself) and forming a part of that gold-medal-winning front-line alongside Neymar and Luan, the importance of which you almost certainly need to be Brazilian to actually get.

Whereas in England there’ll still be a small sense of shock at just how good he was in Madrid. There has been a lurking sense of something lightweight about City’s backup striker, a view founded in his stick-thin physique when he joined, and within the assumption that this is often an essentially decorative footballer, a player made up of sherbet and powdered sugar .

Ask Sergio Ramos that . From the opening minutes on Wednesday Jesus’s movement had something nightmarish about it. He kept pulling away into difficult spaces on the left, drawing Ramos across. Twice he bumped away the good defensive sneak, King Shithouse himself, with a shimmy of the hips.

His second-half goal was beautifully taken, the ball headed back across Thibaut Courtois during a gentle parabola from a wierd hovering position in between the white shirts. But better of all, and some extent of distinction when it involves City and centre-forwards: he was simply relentless.

By the top of the night Jesus had racked up four shots at goal, two headers, three dribbles and 42 touches. He’d played at No 9, No 10, left winger and auxiliary central midfield. He’d also mustered two tackles and two interceptions within the middle of it all. By way of comparison, Sergio Agüero has played three Champions League games and hasn’t got past one among either.