Gabriel Jesus paid homage to the City fans in celebration of Saturday’s 5-0 triumph over Norwich City.
The Brazilian produced a Man of the Match performance, crafting two assists and forcing the own-goal opener, as Pep Guardiola’s men cruised to our first win of the new Premier League season in style.
There was further cause for delight with the long-awaited return of a capacity Etihad Stadium crowd and the forward, who occupied the right flank, credited the City faithful for a memorable atmosphere, which inspired the hosts to victory.
“I couldn’t remember the last game with our fans because it’s been so long!” he admitted.
“They came, they pushed all the time – they sang and give everything for us – so we have to play for them as well.”
Though the star of the show, Gabriel Jesus remained ever humble, praising the collective effort of the squad in the dominant victory over the Canaries with City ruthless from start to finish.
He even refused to take credit for the opening goal – his cross-shot deflecting in off Grant Hanley and then Tim Krul for City’s first of 2021/22.
“No, no!” he smiled. “I tried to cross!
“When I played as a winger – before, when I started to play football – I always crossed because the striker is there.
“I tried to cross to Ferran and Jack. Sometimes, it’s like that – the defender touches it and goes in!
“All of the team played so well. We are getting our rhythm.
“Most of the players came later because we needed some holidays – last season was so tough.
“We played so well and won the game, which was the most important thing.
“We knew that [it was important to bounce back from defeat at Tottenham Hotspur].
“It’s going to be so tough for us because everything came back early. We had to come back as quick as possible.
“That’s our game: play quickly, make runs in behind and try to score goals. That’s everything for us.”
One of the last to rejoin the City squad for pre-season training, following his Copa America exploits, Gabriel Jesus enjoyed a well-deserved rest over the summer, but asserts he’s ready for action and raring to go.
“I’m getting back my fitness,” he added. “I think I was the last one to come back after holidays – I needed some rest.
“After, I had to train hard like always. I didn’t lose too much power – I’m a little bit lucky because I didn’t lose too much so I can come back and train with the guys. Now I’m fit.”