Manchester City returned home following a 4-0 blowout of West Ham United, and the Citizens seemed unstoppable coming into the game against Swansea City. Gabriel Jesus scored a brace and the game-winner late in the game after the Welsh side recovered form a dreadful first half.
The first goal came early in the first half, when David Silva dribbled across the box and put a ball in a dangerous position. Swansea struggled to get it out, and Gabriel Jesus contorted his body to strike the opening goal past Lukasz Fabianski.
The first half featured more City domination, as Swansea didn’t even manage a shot while City produced ten. City’s most threatening chance came in the 28th minute when Yaya Touré smashed a curling free kick on frame, and Fabianski scrambled to his right and prevented the impending goal with an outstretched hand.
Swansea manager Paul Clement inspired his side during his halftime talk, and the team came back out with more energy than City. The Citizens’ constant press disappeared, and Swansea were given room to attack and create danger.
Swansea’s first real chance came in the 48th minute, as Gylfi Sigurdsson struck a free kick similar to Toure’s earlier in the game. Willy Caballero made a fantastic save, forcing the strike onto the post and away from danger.
As the game evened out, the score did as well in the 81st minute. Sigurdsson was on the end of another Swansea chance, and this time he converted to tie things up at the Etihad.
However, the scoring was not over. City got rid of their lackluster energy and began to pressure again like they did in the first half.
Finally, in the 92nd minute, Gabriel Jesus headed the ball on goal, Fabianski struggled to deal with its power, and Jesus netted off the rebound to earn City the vital three points that push them into third place on the Premier League table.
Here’s a look at the game from a City fan’s perspective.
When the lineups were released, everyone was confused as to what formation City was playing. Pep Guardiola decided to play 3 conventional defenders at the back, but everyone was unsure if Fernandinho would play in his usual central midfielder position or if he would play at right back. He played as a right back, and tucked into midfield as often as possible.
Throughout the match, City dealt with little pressure from Swansea’s attack. They could play it around the back and press forward. Caballero made a wonderful save to prevent Gylfi Sigurdsson from netting, but the defense couldn’t later in the game.
However, the goal could have — and should have — been ruled offside. Nathan Dyer was in an offside position in front of Sigurdsson, and he interfered with Caballero’s line of vision with the ball. Even though he never actually touched the ball, it is still offside because he was in the path of the ball. A similar call was ruled against City earlier this year, disallowing a goal from Sergio Agüero.
Other than the controversial goal, City made plenty of good tackles and were never exposed until Gylfi Sigurdsson’s tying effort.
Yaya Touré is constantly manning the holding midfield position, as he has shown ability to press with the attack and track back with the defense. His free kick effort has to be praised because the technique behind that strike was world class.
The rest of the midfield played well, but not as well as we saw in the performance against West Ham. David Silva and Leroy Sané pressured constantly, but they both had their fair share of missed chances and poor mistakes.
Kevin De Bruyne produced chances like usual, but he never threatened Swansea with a real scoring opportunity. Meanwhile, Raheem Sterling couldn’t escape the match without a bad call, as Mike Dean showed him a yellow for trying to avoid a strong challenge from Fabianski.
There aren’t enough words in the English dictionary to praise Gabriel Jesus, because he single handedly won City this game as a teenager.
And he can do it all.
Jesus can score. He scored a close range volley and netted following a wonderful headed effort.
Jesus can pass. He laid off David Silva with a backheel pass early in the second half to put the game away, but Silva waited too long to shoot and was blocked.
Gabriel Jesus’ ability to contribute across the attack is unprecedented for a teenager, and he has earned his starting spot in the lineup over Sergio Agüero, one of the world’s best strikers.
Expect Jesus to keep scoring, keep assisting, and keep City in the Premier League title race.