Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho has spoken of his delight at the return of Gabriel Jesus.
The 20-year-old striker suffered a fractured metatarsal in just his fifth match for the Club and has spent the last two months on the sidleines.
He made his long-awaited return on Thursday as a late substitute in the 0-0 draw with Manchester United and almost made a dramatic impact but for an offside flag denying him a famous last-minute winner.
And Fernandinho, who has been key to helping his compatriot settle since his arrival in January, says his return is a boost for the whole squad.
“He really wanted to play and come back and I’m very happy for him because of the injury at the very beginning of his time here at City,” he said.
“It kind of rocked him a bit and the rest of the players.
“But after two months he’s coming back and he’s able to play, so we are happy for him.
“And once again he was able to shine and score a goal. Unfortunately, it was offside but it’s still important because strikers need to score so at least it helps his confidence.”
City’s draw with United leaves them in fourth, just a point behind third-placed Liverpool with a game in hand and one point above United with five games remaining, leaving them in the box seat to secure Champions League qualification for next season.
Pep Guardiola’s side dominated the game against United, registering 69 per cent possession and 19 shots to United’s three.
But once again a lack of ruthlessness in attack denied City the three points and Fernandinho couldn’t hide his disappointment.
“A win would have been ideal, so we could increase the distance to a direct rival,” he said.
“We tried from the beginning, we were looking for the goal. We created a few chances but we weren’t efficient enough to get the goal and the win.
“They defended quite well and unfortunately it stayed 0-0.”
After winning their first 10 matches of the season and setting the pace at the top of the Premier League, City’s season will end trophyless after last weekend’s defeat to Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, with qualification for the Champions League their only remaining target.
Fernandinho says their inability to keep pace with Chelsea and Tottenham at the top of the Premier League table comes down to their failure to turn dominance into victories.
“We started the season a bit better, scoring a lot of goals and winning games,” he said.
“But then after that we had lot of possession and made opportunities but we weren’t able to convert them.
“That made it a bit more difficult for us especially at home where we drew a lot of games and lost some points.
“That compromised our position in the table but we want to try to improve in the last five games.
“We’ve got to get as many points as we can to guarantee to Champions League qualification.”