Jesus is excellent, but Aguero irreplaceable, says Guardiola

Gabriel Jesus scored twice in a 2-1 win over Everton, but Pep Guardiola says Sergio Aguero is still "irreplaceable" for Manchester City.

Gabriel Jesus scored twice against Everton.

Gabriel Jesus scored twice against Everton.   -  Getty Images

Pep Guardiola hailed Gabriel Jesus after his double against Everton but also labelled Sergio Aguero "irreplaceable" at Manchester City.

Jesus' quickfire goals early in the second half ultimately proved enough to claim the points against the Toffees, who pulled one back through Richarlison following Claudio Bravo's mistake.

Meanwhile, Aguero, who marked his return from injury with a crisp finish in City's 2-0 win over Sheffield United on Sunday, remained on the bench as an unused substitute.

Brazil international Jesus now has 13 goals to his name in all competitions this season, but Guardiola insists Aguero is still number one.

"Gabriel has been excellent, but Sergio is irreplaceable," Guardiola said in quotes reported by City's official Twitter account.

"What he means for our fans, what he's done, the goal against QPR [in 2012], we need a good back-up for all the players and Sergio has a great complimentary player in Gabriel.

"They have a great relationship."

Jesus, in a post-match interview with BT Sport, said he is still attempting to learn as much as possible from Aguero.

READ: Gabriel Jesus extends mastery of Everton in Man City win

"Of course, it's always good to start [the year] with the victory," the 22-year-old said. "The team played well, very well. I'm happy with the goals, the guys played so well today.

"I'm a striker, I have to score and try every time. We have Sergio, who scores every game. I have to learn from him. When I go on the pitch, I have to score."

City's win kept it within a point of second-placed Leicester City, though it is still 11 adrift of runaway leader Liverpool, which plays on Thursday.

 

Over the festive period, City beat Leicester, the Blades and Everton, though slumped to a 3-2 defeat at Wolves on December 27.

"We played great, so I am delighted for the guys. This period is so tough. We did really well. Three more points and closer to Leicester," Guardiola added.

"When you are far away from the first position sometimes people give up, but we never give up. We have to keep going. We have FA Cup then the EFL Cup. Other teams dropped points for the top four, so it was an important win."

"Maybe we will finish seventh or eighth in the table, but not because we don't try"

At a press conference, he added: "Being so far away from first after being champions for two seasons, a team in normal situations, in this situation, give up. And finish seventh or eighth in the table.

"Maybe we will finish seventh or eighth in the table, but not because we don't try. So, the game was always there, we played so good, and a good victory for us."

Guardiola opted for a 3-4-3 formation against Everton, starting Eric Garcia, Fernandinho and Rodri in defence, with Benjamin Mendy and Joao Cancelo as wing-backs.

The former Barcelona boss was pleased with City's execution of the new system, saying it could be a more regular option moving forward.

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"Maybe we will do it again," Guardiola said. "In the first half against Sheffield United, we played with three at the back, too.

"Not just second half. We changed position, but the structure was that.

"We can do it in the future. We played it really well. The five guys are so good with the ball. Riyad [Mahrez] receives the ball in better positions and that helps, too."

City is back in action on Saturday when it hosts Port Vale in the FA Cup third round.

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