Jesus came off the bench to score in Sunday’s dramatic 3-1 win over Manchester United, as the Gunners maintained their unbeaten start to stay on the coat-tails of Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Declan Rice raised the roof with a 96th-minute strike — his first goal for Arsenal — after Martin Odegaard had cancelled out Marcus Rashford’s first-half opener within 35 seconds of the restart, and Jesus sealed a deserved victory in the 101st minute.
Jesus missed three months of last season with a knee injury suffered at the World Cup and was ruled out of the start of the campaign after undergoing a minor operation to address irritation related to the original problem.
The Brazilian made his return with a brief cameo in the draw with Fulham before playingthe final 15 minutes plus stoppage time on Sunday, netting a cool finish after leaving Diogo Dalot on the turf.
“I’m feeling good. It’s tough when you come back [to an] injury after a holiday,” said Jesus. “I started to feel my knee again, it was unlucky.
“After pre-season, you go again, but you feel in pain. I made the decision to do surgery as quickly as possible to come back stronger. It was tough, but now I’m getting back. It’s so important to find the rhythm again. So, I’m back, I feel good and I’m happy.
“At the end of last season I was completely fine, I felt nothing. Then I went on holiday and felt nothing. When I came back, in the first week, still nothing. Then, after that, I started to feel it.
“And for me it was [a case of], ‘If I’m not 100 per cent, I won’t be myself’. I was trying, I was keeping playing and training. I was feeling it a little bit, but for me it was nothing.
“But then we hit a point when I couldn’t run or move, so I decided to do a surgery — and that was it.
"First day is s**t when you find out but the day after you realise you have to keep going, fighting and smile.
"God's given me a life, God let me wake up every morning so I have to be grateful. I'm blessed. I can walk, I can be here, I can smile. So there's nothing to complain about. Just believe in God and keep fighting."
Since Jesus’s original injury, Eddie Nketiah has led the line impressively and last week marked a strong start to the season with a maiden call-up to the England squad for the upcoming games against Ukraine and Scotland.
“First of all, competition is always good — for me and Eddie,” Jesus said. “In all positions when you have competition, it’s a good thing.
“From day one, I’m a big fan of Eddie because of the way he works, and the way he trains is amazing. It’s not easy to come from the academy at a massive club and fight to play in the first team. Congrats to him, he’s doing so well and he deserves to be called in the England team.
“It’s good competition. It’s good for the club because, for sure, he’s making me better and I’m making him better as well.”
VAR was central to a controversial second half against Manchester United before Arsenal’s late show, with Alejandro Garnacho seeing an 88th-minute goal ruled out for a tight offside after referee Anthony Taylor had reversed his decision to award Kai Havertz a penalty on consulting his pitch-side monitor.
“There were some bad decisions from the referee,” Jesus said. “Even with their [disallowed] goal, maybe it was a foul on me, but thankfully it was offside.”