EPL

Jesus dedicates Arsenal celebration to Vinicius Junior after agent's comments draw criticism

By Sports Desk September 18, 2022

Gabriel Jesus dedicated his celebration for Arsenal against Brentford to Vinicius Junior after the Real Madrid winger was subject to a comment with apparent racist undertones from a Spanish football agent.

Pedro Bravo has drawn much criticism after comments on El Chiringuito with apparent racist connotations, telling Vinicius to stop dancing "to respect your mates and stop playing the monkey".

Numerous Brazil stars defended the Madrid attacker, with Pele, Neymar, Bruno Guimaraes and Jesus leaping to Vinicius' defence – the Newcastle United midfielder saying Bravo should be "jailed".

Jesus paid his own tribute to Vinicius after scoring in the 3-0 win over Brentford on Sunday, running to the corner flag and opting to dance instead of his usual 'phone rings' celebration.

The Brazil forward confirmed to Sky Sports after victory at the Brentford Community Stadium that his celebration was for his international team-mate.

"The celebration was for my guy Vinicius Junior, it needs to stop and it was for him," he said.

Jesus has now been involved in seven Premier League goals this season (4G, 3A), with only Manchester City's Erling Haaland (12) boasting more in the competition.

Indeed, no Arsenal player has ever had more combined goals and assists through their first seven Premier League appearances (level with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang), and Jesus hailed the performance.

"From the start we showed what we want to do in the game, create chances and score. That is what I believe we did," he added.

"[Granit Xhaka] found me for the goal and I am so happy to play with him, he is an intelligent and quality player."

Arsenal returned to the Premier League summit with the triumph over their London rivals, one point clear of Manchester City and Tottenham, and Xhaka believes his side are a different team this season.

"We have a different mentality this season. We kept going and are training like we play and have class with the players that can make a difference," Xhaka said.

"You have the class in the front and they make the difference. I am more than happy we are in a good way but we have a long way to go."

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    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Atlanta United – Thiago Almada

    Atlanta will be hoping for inspiration from the likes of Almada as they look to end their winless streak.

    The Argentina international has scored in two of their last three league games on home soil.

    Los Angeles FC – Denis Bouanga

    Bouanga scored both goals in LAFC’s 2-0 win over St. Louis City last time out in MLS.

    He has now found the net 33 times since the start of last season (including play-offs), seven more than any other player during that time.

    MATCH PREDICTION: LOS ANGELES FC

    Only once in their MLS history have Atlanta endured a longer winless streak, going 12 straight games without victory between May and August 2021.

    Meanwhile, LAFC have won successive games to nil for the first time during the regular season since August 2022.

    That came after they recorded just one victory while keeping a clean sheet in their previous 21 such matches.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Atlanta United: 38.2%
    Los Angeles FC: 32.8%
    Draw: 29.0%

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