Tuesday 16 July 2019

Gabriel Jesus admits Man City thought title had gone after Newcastle defeat

Jesus scored the second goal in Wednesday’s 2-0 win at Everton.

Gabriel Jesus, centre, scored as Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League (Peter Byrne/PA)
Gabriel Jesus, centre, scored as Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League (Peter Byrne/PA)

By Press Association Sport staff

Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus says bumping Liverpool off the top is a huge psychological boost having last week feared they had “lost the Premier League”.

Pep Guardiola’s men were left reeling by a shock 2-1 loss at struggling Newcastle last Tuesday, meaning Jurgen Klopp’s Reds boasted a four-point lead with a game in hand.

But Liverpool wobbled the following evening by drawing 1-1 at home to Leicester – before being held to the the same scoreline at West Ham on Monday.

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Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have dropped four points in two games (Adam Davy/PA)

City have capitalised on those slip ups by following up their 3-1 win against Arsenal with a 2-0 triumph at Everton on Wednesday.

It puts the reigning champions top of the Premier League on goal difference and acts as a psychological lift for the side, even if Liverpool have a game in hand.

“A few days ago, we thought we had lost the Premier League,” Jesus said.

“Now we are top of the league, even if it’s because we have played one game more.

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Gabriel Jesus headed in Manchester City’s second goal on Wednesday (Peter Byrne/PA)

“It is good, it is good to be back in the race and we will do our best to win all our games and do our job. That is the most important thing for now.

“After Newcastle, it was very tough on us. We were very disappointed, more than anyone else. The players, the staff… we were all very, sad because we all thought we had lost the league in that game.

“Fortunately, Liverpool drew against Leicester and that gave us a little bit of hope. Then there was another draw against West Ham and that means the race is on. Mentally, it is a big boost for us.

“We will try to keep doing our job and don’t relax as we did against Newcastle.”

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Manchester City were stunned at St James’ Park (Richard Sellers/PA)

City have another tough league clash at home to Chelsea coming up this weekend.

Maurizio Sarri’s men have had their ups and downs of late, but inflicted City’s first Premier League defeat of the season as they ran out 2-0 winners in December.

“We know we are not only playing against one of the best sides in the Premier League but in the world,” Jesus said of Sunday’s opponents.

“We played there, we lost. We played them in the Community Shield at the beginning of the season and won.

“At home, with our fans, we will try to do our best to win the game and keep the pressure on.”

  • Sun, Feb 10: Chelsea (h), Premier League
  • Sat, Feb 16: Newport (a), FA Cup
  • Wed, Feb 20: Schalke (a), Champions League
  • Sun, Feb 24: Chelsea (n), Carabao Cup final
  • Wed, Feb 27: West Ham (h), Premier League

After Sunday’s game attention switches away from the Premier League, with the FA Cup tie at Newport and Champions League last-16 first leg against Schalke followed by taking on Sarri’s Blues again in the Carabao Cup final.

“In my opinion, it is not problematic at all – especially when you have a squad like ours,” Jesus said of competing on four fronts. “If we don’t have injuries – and I hope that we don’t – then I think we can cope, no problem at all.

“The worst thing for us is having to wait to play, when you have seven days or 10 days between games. It is so boring when you have seven days without a game.

“This is what we love to do. It is good to have lots of games as it means we are fighting for everything. Mentally it is good. We will try to do it.”

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