herald

Monday 23 April 2018

'European exit difficult to take' claims Jesus

Up and away: Dejan Lovren clears the ball from Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus
Up and away: Dejan Lovren clears the ball from Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus

Gabriel Jesus admitted Manchester City's Champions League exit was tough to take.

The Premier League leaders bowed out of the competition on Tuesday despite launching a spirited fightback in their quarter-final against Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium.

Jesus struck in the second minute as City made a stunning start in their attempts to overturn a 3-0 first-leg deficit but the task ultimately proved beyond them on a compelling but controversial night.

City were stung by an incorrect decision to disallow a Leroy Sane goal for offside and, as Liverpool weathered the storm, second-half strikes from Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino secured a 5-1 aggregate success.

"It's difficult to take," said Jesus. "It wasn't what we wanted but this is part of football.

"We didn't play great in the two games but we congratulate Liverpool and focus on the six games we have until the end of the season to wrap up the title."

City played at high intensity as they completely dominated the first half and produced numerous chances to further reduce the arrears after Jesus' opener.

The drama was at its most fierce just before the break as Bernardo Silva hit the post and Sane was then thwarted by a flag raised wrongly after the ball came to him off Liverpool's James Milner.

Jesus said: "It's hard to talk about a goal, and whether it's allowed or not. It is part of football and sometimes these things happen."

It has been a difficult week for City, with their two losses to Liverpool coming either side of a derby defeat by Manchester United.

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