Gabriel Jesus believes he can finally win the Champions League and has told his Arsenal team-mates to share the faith.
The Brazil forward has a love affair with Europe’s premiere club competition and was the difference-maker as Arsenal won 2-1 at Sevilla on Tuesday night.
Jesus provided a moment of magic to lay on the opening goal for compatriot Gabriel Martinelli before curling home a fine individual effort – although his celebrations were curtailed as he limped off with 10 minutes to go.
The matchwinner pic.twitter.com/qvS8ak2jL8
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) October 24, 2023
The former Manchester City striker, who came off the bench when Pep Guardiola’s side lost the 2021 Champions League final to Chelsea, has a phenomenal strike-rate in the competition – his goal at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium was his 23rd in 41 appearances for City and Arsenal.
He still harbours ambitions of winning the trophy and feels it is something he and his colleagues can achieve this season.
“It’s a competition that I love,” he said after his man-of-the-match display.
“All the competitions I love, because I just love to play football. But I don’t know, since day one in the Champions League, my debut, I scored goals.
“I haven’t won it yet, so I am looking for this, for this beautiful trophy. Obviously it is not easy, but I think we have to believe. If we don’t believe, we cannot be here.”
While his goal was a moment to savour, Jesus’ role in Martinelli’s opening effort will live long in the memory as a deft touch took two Sevilla midfielders out of the game.
A perfectly-weighted slide-rule pass played in Martinelli who, having missed a golden chance to break the deadlock earlier in the game, obliged with a cool finish as the two Brazil internationals combined to great effect.
“I think for me as the type of player I am, I drop a lot more on the left side than the right side,” Jesus replied when asked about his relationship and understanding playing alongside Martinelli.
“Obviously I drop on the right as well to help B (Bukayo Saka) and to play with B, but I drop more on the left. It works.
“The wingers we have, not just Martinelli and B, but Reiss (Nelson), Leo (Trossard) and even Eddie (Nketiah) or Fabio (Vieira) when they play there, they are quality players.
“I just go out wide and I try to play short passes and give them the ball, and they try to find me as well. It worked with Martinelli and I am very happy.”
Mikel Arteta’s side return to domestic action when they welcome Premier League bottom club Sheffield United to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Gunners are unbeaten in their opening nine league games of the campaign and Jesus could yet be involved despite limping off late on in Spain.
“I felt something. Let’s see,” he said. “I did some tests with the physio, it looks not that big, but let’s see. I have a scan, maybe tomorrow. I’m pretty sure it will be nothing.”