Jesus Scores First Goals in 6 Months to Keep Arsenal on Title Track
For Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, Gabriel Jesus' return to his forward line must be tantamount to having a brand new player. After a prolonged absence from the starting XI in the Premier League, the Brazilian forward made his reappearance on Saturday and contributed two goals in a 4-1 victory over Leeds United.
The former Manchester City forward, Jesus, returned to the pitch in style, scoring two goals following a knee injury sustained at the World Cup. His heroic performance brought the Arsenal squad closer to their first Premier League title in 16 years, restoring their eight-point lead over Manchester City. With nine games left to play, Arteta's team are now on the brink of glory, despite the stringent challenges posed by injuries and illness. Jesus was given a standing ovation in his departure from the pitch, offering a morale boost to the entire squad.
Mikel Arteta, Arsenal's manager, was delighted with Eddie Nketiah's performance on Saturday, having started the game, scoring two goals. Arteta told reporters that the team had been clapping for him, as he had worked very hard in the last few months with a lot of support from the team and the staff. He added that Nketiah had taken the opportunity presented to him with great conviction.
Sickness had meant that the in-form Bukayo Saka had to start on the bench, but Ben White, who scored the second goal, was able to start despite being ill.
Arsenal were without two of their key players in Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba, as well as Eddie Nketiah who had been heavily involved during Jesus' injury recovery, but showed significant spirit against a physical Brighton side.
Mikel Arteta was looking ahead to the next challenge facing his side, stating that the team were "really looking forward to it" and intended to "go for it". Despite a lacklustre first half, the Gunners managed to pick up a point at the Amex Stadium.
Arteta exclaimed that the players must have faith and feel the trust he has in them, saying that only through preparation and performance, like Rob Holding achieved, can they have the opportunity to play. He was satisfied with the depth of the squad, considering the long-term injuries, as it has enabled them to keep on registering victories.