Manchester City bounced back from their 2-0 defeat to Chelsea in emphatic fashion as they put on a dominating show against Everton.
A brace from Gabriel Jesus and a header from substitute Raheem Sterling was enough to overpower the Toffees 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
In our player focus, we will be assessing the performance of Gabriel Jesus.
Expected Goals: 0.67
Shots (on target): 2 (2)
Total passes (success rate): 40 (73%)
With Sergio Aguero sidelined due to injury, Jesus should become the obvious candidate for the No9 role. However, Pep Guardiola opted to play Sterling at false-nine instead, against Chelsea. Versus Everton, Jesus showed Guardiola exactly what he missed – a clinical finisher who is adept at poaching. The Brazilian was always active in Everton’s defensive third, distorting their shape and playing his role in build-up. The 21-year-old scored two past Jordan Pickford and capped off a nearly perfect night.
Finishing: The primary function of a striker is to score goals. It’s safe to say that Jesus’s finishing is on point, given he scored with both his shots on goal. The Brazilian’s first goal came from his left foot and the second was a header, which renders his performance against Everton a complete one, from a striker’s point of view.
Pressing: The youngster’s stamina is absolutely astounding. The visitors gave the ball away in their own half 11 times and Jesus’s pressing was either directly or indirectly responsible for most of those. This is in line with Guardiola’s style of play where the forwards are required to press aggressively.
Timing his run: The 21-year-old had a near-perfect game in front of goal. But if flaws in his performance are to be nitpicked, his sense of timing when he makes a run can be questioned. There were instances when Jesus arrived the scene a tad bit late and there were occasions where he arrived too early. It’s also a general observation that the forward gets caught offside very often.
28th min: GOAL – Jesus capitalises on Yerry Mina’s mistake and slots it past Pickford.
50th min: GOAL – Leroy Sane sets up the Brazilian with a cross and Jesus does well with his bullet header.
69th min LINK-UP: Jesus exchanges passes with Fernandinho, who crosses it to Sterling. The Englishman nods it home to make it 3-1 to City.
Jesus ended his apparent goal drought with a top-class performance and strengthens his case for a place in the starting lineup. The forward was extremely comfortable on the ball, both as the No9 and on the left wing. His off-the-ball movements were also worthy of appreciation. The Brazilian was arguably City’s best player on the night.
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