The telephone was ringing around the Etihad last night with the Premier League resurrection of Jesus. And the relief on the young striker’s face was there for all to see as Gabriel de Jesus plundered two goals to bring Manchester City’s team tally in all competitions to a staggering 99 goals so far this season.
The Brazilian has now netted 10 times in 4 matches, including 4 when he hit the seem against Burton Albion. Shame on him!
This match, against Wolverhampton Wanderers, was a potential banana skin for the Blues. Held 1-1 at Molineux in a match which saw successive blunders when an assistant referee, first of all, failed to spot Boly offside and then failed to spot him clearly steer the ball home with his hand, decisions which could prove fatal to City’s attempt to retain the title this season. Add to that the fact that against the teams at the top end of the table, Wolves had only been beaten twice, there were grounds for optimism among Nuno Espiritu Santo and the 3000 fans that made the treacherous trip up the M6.
City were having none of it. Sane was showing the way early on and then after 10 ten minutes Laporte spotted him on his bike and played the kind of precision pass that would’ve excited a surgeon. Sane was on it in a flash, saw de Jesus appearing in the box unattended. His low cross was inch perfect and it was 1-0.
A couple of lapses of concentration first by Walker which finally resulted in a yellow card for Fernandinho and then another which should’ve set up Wolves for an equaliser either side of Boly getting a red card for scything down Bernardo, studs up. Justice often takes a long time to come to fruition. After the debacle of his goal at Molineux, there was no sympathy in the grades as he trudged to the tunnel leaving Bernardo in a heap.
Just ahead of half-time and wow….City and Raheem Sterling were awarded a penalty!. As Mole Salad dives around more than his goalkeeper leaving gleeful referees the task of awarding dodgy pens to ensure that each week the title creeps a little closer to Shamfield, we thought that City, who on the basis of those granted to the Liverpen, should get around 5 a match for bad tackles on Sterling alone, were exempt from receiving such awards.
De Jesus was not standing on ceremony, making sure he got the ball before calmly sending Patricio all over the show as he slotted it in the opposite corner. Job Done.
Guardiola had been able to give rest time to De Bruyne and Aguero on the build to this match but when the replacements appeared today it was in the shape of those two plus Gundogan, with de Jesus, Sane and Fernandinho heading in the opposite direction.
The signal of intent was not long in coming from De Bruyne as he fired in a couple of warning tracers before unleashing an exocet which ricocheted of Scouser Coady before fooling Patricio. This ended the scoring but allowed City to take an in-match rest and return to within 4 points of the league leaders.
Scudamore and his boys have at least another couple of weekends where the Mickey Mousers get first dibs at the matches and City have to play catch up against more challenging opposition, but with his side now getting used to the rotation and refusing to lie down, Guardiola is hoping for another Gerrard Slip, so that once again City can breathe down Liverpen’s necks.
As far as the almost weekly records go, David Silva has now clocked up a record 267 Premier League appearances, more than any other City player. And as for goal tally, the Blues have scored 99 in all competitions, so far this season. Astonishing!