Gabriel Jesus says Man City’s battle to secure a place in the top four of the Premier League will go right down to the last game of the season.
The 20-year-old Brazilian marked his first start for the Club after almost three months out through injury with a vital 84th minutes equaliser to earn City a 2-2 draw away at Middlesbrough.
Boro had twice taken the lead through former City star Alvaro Negredo and Calum Chambers but City fought back first through a penalty from Sergio Aguero and then a fine header from Jesus.
With Manchester United having been held at home by Swansea earlier in the day, it’s very much as you were in the race to clinch Champions League qualification for next season.
The Blues remain in fourth place – they are on the same points tally as third-placed Liverpool who have a better goal difference - and lie a point ahead of fifth-placed United with all three clubs having four games left to play.
City have the advantage of playing three of those fixtures at the Etihad Stadium but Jesus believes he and his colleagues will face a tough battle until the last day of the campaign in order to seal that all-important top-four finish.
"We all know how difficult it is in the Premier League and we know its is going to be difficult until the end (of the season),” said the 20-year-old Brazilian.
“I am learning that every game in the Premier League is really difficult.
“Every team can beat you if you are not focused.
“Today's result is disappointing.
“We controlled the game and missed so many chances but at least we have a point which is what matters."
After a brief cameo appearance in the Manchester derby last Thursday, Jesus got the full 90 minutes under his belt at the Riverside Stadium following his recovery from a broken metatarsal.
Jesus admits he still working his way back to full fitness and admitted after having what looked like a winner in the derby ruled out for offside, his first reaction after netting on Teesside was to check that the goal stood!
“After being out for three months, I am tired,” Jesus admitted.
“In my case I am still not 100 per cent fit so I missed so many chances and I am sad for that.
“After my goal I looked at the assistant to check if it was offside or not.
“I am happy to have scored the goal but sad at the same time because we couldn’t get the win today.”