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Media: Gabriel Jesus the best since Lionel Messi

THUMPING WIN: City are two points clear at the top of the table after a 7-2 victory over Stoke

THUMPING WIN: City are two points clear at the top of the table after a 7-2 victory over Stoke

Manchester City’s thumping 7-2 win over Stoke has left the press purring and this morning’s back pages make fine reading for Blues everywhere.

Let's start with praise for Gabriel Jesus on the BBC's Match of the Day programme from former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy.

He waxed lyrical about Jesus's performance and even described as the best young talent since Lionel Messi.

“He’s appropriately named, a wonderful talent,” said Murphy. “He’s flown in from Brazil having scored two goals and he’s left Aguero on the bench. He’s just sensational. He loves scoring goals and he’s continuously in the right place at the right time.

“His touch is good, his balance is good, he’s brave on the ball, he’s quick, his left foot is decent, he demands the ball off people.

“I’d go as far as saying he’s probably the best young player I’ve seen since Lionel Messi. I’m not saying he’s as good as Messi but having just turned 20 he’s sensational.

“He’s got 13 goals in 15 starts which is incredible, he’s already got six in 11 for Brazil. He’s keeping some very good players out of that national team.

“I was talking earlier in the week about the Premier League golden boot and people were saying Aguero, Lukaku or Kane and I said you have to put this lad in. Guardiola trusts him and even when Aguero has been fit he’s played with him, his tight control is good, his awareness is good.

“Decision making in a young lad is what you tend to find isn’t right but he always seems to make the right decisions. He’s fit. He’s a fantastic footballer and they’re lucky to have him. If he stays at Man City he could go on and beat every record Aguero is breaking.”

High praise, indeed.

CALLING CARD: Gabriel Jesus celebrates in trademark fashion after notching his second goal

Interviews

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Paul Wilson, writing in the Observer, was left hugely impressed by Kevin De Bruyne’s display.

The Belgian, making his 100th City appearance, assisted two goals and was involved in the buildup to two more, delivering a performance of world-class quality to rip to Stoke apart.

He now has 32 Premier League assists since his City debut in September 2015, more than any other player in that period.

“Something fairly amazing happened in the 27th minute of this latest Manchester City goalfest,” Wilson writes. “A slick first-time passing move produced an unanswerable goal for the home side, but a bamboozled Stoke City defence was already wearily familiar with that routine. What shocked about the third goal was that Kevin De Bruyne was not behind it.

“The Belgian has been the inspiration behind much of what Manchester City have produced this season, yet here were his fellow forwards pinging the ball about with accuracy and imagination without him. Gabriel Jesus found Leroy Sané on the left, his firm cross was instinctively caught and turned back in a single touch by Raheem Sterling, which left David Silva the relatively simple task of arriving on the six-yard line to become the third different scorer of the afternoon.”

SIX APPEAL: Leroy Sane wheels away in triumph after his goal made it 6-2

Highlights

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Saj Chowdhury of BBC Sport highlighted City’s dominance with an overwhelming possession stat from the first-half: “City scored three times in the first period and had 83.5% of the possession in what was arguably the most one-sided Premier League half this season,” he writes.

And another BBC stat jumped out at us. This one says it all, really, about City’s attacking prowess. “After thumping Stoke 7-2, Manchester City are the first English top-flight team to score 29 goals in their first eight league games of the season since Everton in 1894-95 (30). Back then the first Marks & Spencer had just opened in Manchester and Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book had been published.”

That’s all for this morning, Blues. Stay with us throughout the day for more reaction to that thumping win.


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