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Guardiola hails Jesus influence for record-breaking Man City

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Manchester City’s Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Manchester City at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on February 3, 2021. (Photo by Gareth Copley / POOL / AFP) /

Pep Guardiola on Thursday hailed the growing influence of Gabriel Jesus on and off the pitch as Manchester City fight for trophies on four fronts.

Jesus, 23, has not been an automatic starter in the Premier League this season, even in the absence of Sergio Aguero through injury and illness.

But the Brazil striker scored his fourth goal in as many starts on Wednesday to take his season’s tally to eight as Guardiola’s side reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with a 3-1 win at Swansea.

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Guardiola, who had dropped Jesus to the bench for Sunday’s 4-1 Premier League win at Liverpool, said: “It does a lot for his confidence. He could have scored more but he played really, really well.

“He was incredible at Anfield in the locker room when he didn’t play. He was incredibly supportive to his mates.

“When a guy is like this he is so supportive to the other ones.

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“When he plays, he always plays good. It’s important for strikers to score. He was brilliant, really brilliant.”

City’s 15th consecutive victory in all competitions set a new record by an English top-flight club, eclipsing the previous mark held by Preston and Arsenal.

The League Cup finalists return to Premier League action at home to Tottenham on Saturday and then visit Everton and Arsenal before their Champions League campaign resumes against Borussia Moenchengladbach.

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