Two goals and two assists made for a very decent day at the office for Gabriel Jesus but the player admits he should have had a hat-trick after failing to convert several other opportunities during Arsenal’s 4-2 win over Leicester.
The Brazil international had a total of seven efforts on goal during his 84 minutes on the pitch and lead the line with such energy that manager Mikel Arteta remarked in his post-game press conference, “I wouldn’t like to play against him.”
After putting the Gunners ahead with a delightful chip, Jesus doubled the lead with his head 12 minutes later and came very close to a third before the break when he brilliantly controlled a long ball by Aaron Ramsdale before a combination of Wilfried Ndidi and goalkeeper Danny Ward denied him.
The chance was still on his mind after the game when Sky Sports asked if he should have taken the match ball home.
“For sure, I work all day, every day to score goals and to help,” he said.
“The ball from Aaron [in the first half], I did well [to control] but when I went to shoot the defender come back quick. After, I had another chance which I could have scored.
“I’m a little bit sad because of this but I’m so happy, you know, not just because of the goals but because of the way the team are playing. In the difficult moments, we conceded two goals, but we keep playing well and try always to score.”
While Jesus wasn’t starved of minutes at Manchester City – he averaged an hour on the pitch across his 41 appearances last season – he wasn’t charged with being the club’s main number 9.
It’s clear already at Arsenal that, alongside Eddie Nketiah, he will have far more responsibility. It’s a challenge he’s relishing.
“A lot, a lot,” he replied when asked if he’s enjoying himself at the Emirates.
“I was not unhappy at City, I was just wanting to play, I understand the club, I understand the manager, but sometimes players want to play and I’m the same.
“Here I come, train every day, me and Eddie [Nketiah] finishing, he has a lot of quality, a lot of confidence to play as well, I think Arsenal have two good strikers.”