Gabriel Jesus returned to action for Manchester City against Birmingham on Sunday afternoon and whilst he failed to find the back of the net, it was a classy overall performance from the Brazilian.
The striker had been out of action after testing positive for the coronavirus but was handed a start by Pep Guardiola against the Championship strugglers.
The Citizens eased to a 3-0 win as a brace from Bernardo Silva and a goal from Phil Foden proved enough to see them through to the fourth round.
Despite having scored just once in his last nine games for Man City in all competitions now, Guardiola will likely be delighted with the 23-year-old’s contribution against Birmingham on Sunday.
As per SofaScore, Jesus completed 30/33 of his passes against the Championship side, resulting in an impressive pass accuracy of 91%.
The Brazilian international was also successful in all three of his dribbles during the game, whilst he also contributed two key passes during his time on the pitch.
Perhaps most impressively though, was that the striker was able to win all five of his duels during the game, suggesting that he regularly had the better of the Birmingham defenders during his time on the pitch.
He was replaced by young Liam Delap with around 20 minutes remaining, so it would not be a surprise to see him start again in City’s midweek game against Brighton, where he will be hoping to end his Premier League goal drought.
In December 2020, Guardiola was full of praise for the impact Jesus has in this City side, saying:
“I want his goals, but his contribution is the best striker in the world at doing things any other striker can do for the team. Regaining the ball, pressing high, opponent 18 yards box – he helps us to do it.”
Therefore, he will no doubt be happy with the 23-year-old’s impact against Birmingham, as the only thing really missing from his performance was a goal.
And, in other news… Forget Silva: £110k-p/w beast who made 111 passes was Guardiola’s start vs BCFC