Gabriel Jesus faced the cameras at the end of his first home appearance for record-breaking Arsenal and said: “I am very happy.” A few minutes later, his manager showed a slightly different version of events.
“He is disappointed in the dressing room because he said he could have scored four goals,” said Mikel Arteta.
This was the first time that the wires connecting Jesus and his colleagues crossed throughout the afternoon.
Gabriel Jesus was singing on his first home appearance with Arsenal, scoring two goals and making another two.
The Brazilian striker made a superb opening curl before heading off for second in the back position
In this win over Leicester, he was the focus of Arsenal’s attack around him with invention and intelligence.
He scored two goals – his first competitive goal since arriving for £45m this summer – and set up two more.
If the early signs in pre-season showed that the 25-year-old would add more vitality and vitality to Arsenal, it was a performance that suggested he could transform Arteta’s side.
He is a global player. In terms of his numbers, the way he works and his position in training every day. “He is an example of that,” said Oleksandr Zinchenko, who joined Arsenal from Manchester City this summer.
still young. Of course, everyone needs to improve some things. He’s not perfect (final article), but he scores goals. The rest is incredible.
Jesus gave the ball inside the penalty area a huge boost to Arsenal in attack
The UAE national team rose to salute their new ninth number when Jesus was substituted six minutes from the end.
By then, he had made seven shots, more than any player and more than Leicester combined. He had scored the most shots on goal (three) and the most touches (15) in the opponent’s area.
Next best? four. Nobody had more successful dribbles, only Gabriel Martinelli (four) made more key passes than Jesus (three).
Jesus became the first Arsenal player to score twice in his debut in the Premier League. On Saturday, he scored as many goals without penalty kicks as Alexandre Lacazette scored in the entire last season.
Statistics still cannot do justice to the impact of the future. Even his goals tell a brief tale.
Fans will remember the glossy finish that opened his Arsenal account. Perhaps most telling was not how Jesus ended this movement but how he started it. The Brazilian chased after a long ball, passing Jonny Evans before finding his teammate.
His second goal was simpler, header at close range. A third was supposed to come soon after.
A good intervention from Wilfried Ndidi prevented Jesus after he took a goal kick and got rid of Evans.
Then Foxes goalkeeper Danny Ward thwarted him after a superb pass. Again, though, the significance of this opportunity lies in how it arrived: Jesus relinquished the monarchy with a loose pass.
Race to get it back, only to give the ball back. The striker was not discouraged, as he led a counter-kick that forced a spin and then raced towards the penalty area. From Zinchenko to Martin Odegaard, to Jesus, to Martinelli, to Jesus. All in a flash.
In the second half, he switched provider – finding Granit Xhaka after Ward fumbled on a cross. Arsenal’s fourth arrived after Jesus found space to turn around and drive towards the penalty area.
Point the defenders at him before feeding Martinelli to score. He’s never had a second hat-trick in the top flight of his career, but that hasn’t defused the electricity that his performances have sparked across the Emirates. The stadium was buzzing with optimism.
“I had no doubts about it,” Zinchenko said. He’s a great player, always hungry for goals. I am very happy for him.
Based on this early evidence, Jesus’ best comeback in the league, 14 goals in 2019-20, will surely be surpassed.
Arteta also noted that the team as a whole is already benefiting from his arrival.
“He raises the standards as he is every day, the way he talks, the way they communicate,” Arteta said. “You can see the interactions and the speed of execution at a different level now.”
Is it too early to ask if Jesus could join the likes of Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp in Arsenal’s group of great strikers?
“I will not judge (or) compare it,” Zinchenko said. When I was a kid I was a huge fan of Arsenal. That was a different time. Football is on another level (for now). Everything is faster.
With Jesus at their head, Arsenal are looking to go places. Speed.