Pep Guardiola pleased with Gabriel Jesus’ impact versus Everton

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has lauded the efforts of Gabriel Jesus during the club’s 2-1 win over Everton in the Premier League. The Brazil international was preferred ahead of Sergio Aguero to lead the line and he made the most of the opportunity by bagging a brace in the second half at the Etihad Stadium.

Speaking after the game, Guardiola spoke positively about the young forward, who has often played second fiddle to Aguero for the centre-forward role, he told: “He’s a young player but the way he defends and fights… of course he has to improve, he knows it, and we have spoken together about what he has to do, but I think every day he is better and better. He’s had ups and downs, but with his age and his injuries, he was excellent. Sergio is irreplaceable for what he means to our fans, [but has] an excellent complement with Gabriel.”

The victory over the Toffees has propelled the Citizens to 44 points on the table but they are still 14 points behind league leaders Liverpool, having played an extra game more. As such, the Premier League title defence seems unlikely to happen but Guardiola has stressed the importance to keep going and end the campaign on a high note.

The Mancunian giants have a FA Cup third round tie against Port Vale for the weekend and they should comfortably beat their opponents, barring a shocking performance. Jesus has mostly been preferred for the Cup competitions upfront but Aguero could get the nod for the Cup tie, considering he may require more minutes under his belt after the recovery from a thigh problem.

Following that game, the Citizens have another crunch derby against Manchester United in the League Cup semi-final. The first leg of the semi-final will be played at Old Trafford and Guardiola will be aiming to avenge the 2-1 league defeat at the Etihad earlier this season.