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big win Pep Guardiola salutes Man City's star man as Jack Grealish marks his home debut with a goal

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Jack Grealish of Manchester City celebrates after scoring their side's second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Norwich City. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images )

Jack Grealish of Manchester City celebrates after scoring their side's second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Norwich City. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images )

Jack Grealish of Manchester City celebrates after scoring their side's second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Norwich City. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images )

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola insisted that Gabriel Jesus is very much part of his plans after he starred in the 5-0 win over Norwich.

The Brazil international has been linked with a move away from the Etihad Stadium this summer in order for City to raise funds to try and sign Tottenham striker Harry Kane.

But, playing in a wider position, he showed his worth against the Canaries, making three of the goals as City got their season up and running in style.

It was his fizzed cross that goalkeeper Tim Krul ended up diverting into his own net in the seventh minute, then he also laid on Jack Grealish’s first goal since his £100million move as City were 2-0 up inside 22 minutes.

After Aymeric Laporte swept home a loose ball from a corner, Jesus then teed up Raheem Sterling with another cross from the right before Riyad Mahrez completed the rout in the final 10 minutes.

For all the talk around City’s pursuit of Kane, which has so far faced frustration as Spurs refuse to negotiate, Jesus has been something of a forgotten man.

But Guardiola was full of praise for him and confirmed he will keep his place for the match against Arsenal next week.

“If I should answer all the rumours in the media, we need five press conferences,” Guardiola said. “The moment I tell you I don’t like Gabriel, then we can talk about it.

“He has so much importance for me. It’s not just when he makes an exceptional performance like today, it’s every day. He deserves to continue playing, when a guy plays in this way he deserves to play again.

“He is a player who likes to play more wide than central positions. One of the reasons why I am a manager in the best moments of my career, apart from the titles and trophies, is because you can work with people, humans like Gabriel.

“He never complains. He never disrespects his team-mates. If he plays five minutes, he plays the best five minutes he can do. Play right he is happy, play central he is happy, play left he is happy.

“The combination with Kyle (Walker) was exceptional. I am very pleased with the performance he has made, an incredibly important player for us, he is so young. Big congrats because he deserves in life the best because he is so generous. I am incredibly satisfied.”

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After so many of their players were involved in international action over the summer, City endured a stuttering start to the season, with 1-0 defeats in the Community Shield against Leicester and the Premier League opener at Spurs last week.

But they were up and running in style at the Etihad and Guardiola hopes there is more to come.

“Absolutely. The result was the consequence of how many good things we have done,” he said.

“Still we are not in our top, still we have many things to do. It was really good, happy for that and our first three points and hopefully it will not be the last.”

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