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12th Oct 2016

Pep Guardiola had a couple of reasons to enjoy Gabriel Jesus’s tidy finish for Brazil

Some finish, this

Simon Lloyd

If Pep Guardiola stayed up late enough to watch Brazil’s World Cup qualifier win over Venezuela, he’ll have certainly enjoyed the goal that opened the scoring from Manchester City-bound Gabriel Jesus.

With eight minutes on the clock in Merida, the 19-year-old gave his country the lead – his fourth goal in four appearances for the Brazilian senior team.

Not only did this sumptuous chip partly vindicate Pep’s decision to splash £27m of Sheikh Mansour’s hard-earned cash on the youngster, it also explains why he kicked up such a fuss about having a goalkeeper who’s comfortable with the ball at his feet.

Momentarily forgetting that he wasn’t Brazilian, Venezuela’s goalkeeper Daniel Hernandez inexplicably passed the ball to Jesus, yards from the edge of the area. With Hernandez marooned between penalty spot and the ‘D’, Jesus could’ve quite easily taken the easy option and knocked the ball to his left, allowing his teammate – who had an even clearer sight of goal – to roll the ball over the line.

Instead, he dinked his Poborsky-esque finish over the hapless ‘keeper’s head. A lovely finish, not even tarnished by the fact he follows it by running straight into his own teammate.

Gabriel Jesus signed for City in summer, but will only make the move to Manchester in January. Just as well really. City seem a bit light up top this year, don’t they?