• News

Guardiola plays up Jesus’ role in Real Madrid demolition

Gabriel Jesus - Manchester City
Getty Images

Gabriel Jesus was central to Manchester City’s success in both legs of the Champions League Last-16, insists Pep Guardiola.

Gabriel Jesus scored his 23rd goal of this season against Real Madrid on Friday to book Manchester City’s place in the Champions League quarter-finals stage.

The Brazilian forward actually played part in both goals in the 2-1 win as he bullied Raphael Varane off the ball to set up Raheem Sterling for the first goal of the night.

He was equally decisive in the first leg of tie, scoring the equalizer before earning the penalty that resulted in the winning goal at Santiago Bernabeu.

It was feared that Sergio Aguero‘s injury could prove to be fatal for Man City, but Jesus stepped up when it mattered the most.

“He’s the man of the match for these two games, he was decisive for us. He helped us when we suffered in bad moments,” said Pep Guardiola about his striker, as Manchester Evening News reports.

“Gabriel always helps us through more than goals but for a striker, it is important to score. Big players have to show in the biggest stages in the big games and he showed it twice against the kings of this competition.

“He made an incredible step forward to say, ‘Here I am and I can win games for myself.”