Gabriel Jesus missed an awful penalty as Manchester City wasted the chance to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages at the San Siro.

Gabriel Jesus played like a true number nine on Wednesday night.

He led the line brilliantly, dominated the Atalanta defenders with his back to goal and even channelled his inner-Karim Benzema with a gorgeous back-heeled assist more suited to the Louvre than a Champions League group stage clash.

Unfortunately, no one on Thursday morning is talking about how much Jesus has developed his all-round game in the last year or so under the esteemed tutelage of Pep Guardiola. And, in truth, he only has himself to blame.

After all, City would have cruised to a comfortable victory at the San Siro and sealed their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League had Jesus not scuffed the most cringeworthy penalty wide of the post just before half-time.

And that proved to be a turning point. Atalanta came roaring back after the break, Chelsea loanee Mario Pasalic cancelling out Raheem Sterling’s opener with a thumping header Frank Lampard himself would have been proud of, and City were forced to hold on in the dying seconds with Kyle Walker between the sticks after Claudio Bravo’s ridiculous red card.

The game finished 1-1 and City missed the chance to put qualification to bed. For that, Jesus has to accept the blame, no matter how well he played overall.

 

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