'Fantastic' Jesus keeps the dream alive for Man City

Jesus stole the show at the Etihad Stadium with the first Premier League haul of three or more goals in his career



Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus scores his side’s fourth goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match against Watford. (AP)
Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus scores his side’s fourth goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match against Watford. (AP)

By AFP

Published: Sun 24 Apr 2022, 12:22 AM

Pep Guardiola saluted “fantastic” Gabriel Jesus after the Brazilian scored four times as Manchester City crushed Watford 5-1 to move four points clear at the top of the Premier League on Saturday.

Jesus stole the show at the Etihad Stadium with the first Premier League haul of three or more goals in his career.

The forward had netted only once in the league since September, but he tore Watford to shreds with a predatory display of finishing.

He struck twice in the first half before Watford’s Hassane Kamara briefly reduced the deficit.

Rodri restored City’s two-goal advantage and Jesus bagged two more after half-time to complete the rout.

“It’s amazing. Sometimes you play so good and don’t score and sometimes it is like this and you score all the chances you have,” Jesus said.

“I’m happy it was my day. Now is the best moment of the season. When you decide the games and win the trophies. That’s what football is for us.”

After losing to Liverpool in the FA Cup semifinals last weekend, Guardiola’s side have signalled their determination to retain the title.

They dismissed Brighton 3-0 on Wednesday and their demolition of second bottom Watford keeps the pressure on second placed Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp’s men can close the gap back to one point if they beat struggling Everton in the Merseyside derby at Anfield on Sunday.

In a thrilling title race that looks destined to go down to the wire, City have five league games left as they chase a fourth English crown in five years.

Their stroll against Watford was the ideal preparation for the Champions League semifinal first leg against Real Madrid in Manchester on Tuesday.

“If there’s one person who deserves the best in life, it’s Gabriel. It doesn’t matter what position he plays, we know how he fights for his mates. He’s fantastic,” Guardiola said.

“We had a ‘final’ today and we won it. Now we have an opportunity to play a ‘final’ against Leeds.

“Nothing changes. We have to win all five games to be champions.”

Guardiola made six changes from the Brighton game, with Ruben Dias replacing the injured John Stones for his first start since March 1 after a hamstring injury.

Arsenal beat Manchester United 3-1 to take control of the race for fourth.

Mikel Arteta’s men made the most of a fast start as Nuno Tavares opened the scoring after just two minutes before Bukayo Saka’s penalty made it 2-0.

Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the United side after missing Tuesday’s 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Liverpool due to the death of his newborn baby son.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner kept the visitors in the game as he struck before half-time for his 100th Premier League goal.

But the United fans will wonder why Ronaldo passed on responsibility to Bruno Fernandes when the Red Devils were awarded a penalty on the hour mark.

Fernandes hit the post and Granit Xhaka rubbed salt into United wounds with a blistering strike to seal a win that moves Arsenal three points ahead of Tottenham, who travel to Brentford later on Saturday.

United remain in sixth, now six points adrift of the Gunners, and interim boss Ralf Rangnick admitted their hopes of a top-four finish are now over.

“For me even before that game it was not very likely, but after today’s result the top four is gone,” said Rangnick.


More news from Football