The rich keep getting richer.
It had been nearly three months since Gabriel Jesus scored a league goal, but the Manchester City forward made up for lost time by trebling his haul on the season in a 3-1 win against Everton on Saturday.
For title challengers Liverpool - and, to a lesser degree, the trio of capital city clubs beneath them in the table - Jesus' resurrection is a damning prophecy of what awaits.
It's also a felicitous symbol of the abundance of assets at Pep Guardiola's disposal. First-choice striker Sergio Aguero and his faux-champagne coif were parked on the pine, November's Premier League Player of the Month Raheem Sterling came off the bench and scored with his first touch, and Kevin De Bruyne made his first appearance for the club since Nov. 1.
City are often cited to illustrate the opulence of modern football, and their personnel is yet another reflection of that lavishness.
When Jesus opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, it was the 21-year-old's first league tally in 487 minutes of football and ended a run of 18 attempts sans a goal. The Brazilian made it two five minutes after the break, again courtesy of a pinpoint Leroy Sane offering, with the assistance of a painfully poor Yerry Mina.
Everton had their chances, and Marco Silva and Co. will rue the errors. Mina gifted the opener thanks to a mishit clearance, and fellow center-back Michael Keane was similarly culpable on Jesus' second after a half-hearted attempt at sidestepping danger. If eight-goal Richarlison had been more clinical, Everton could have preyed upon some unnecessarily cute play from the hosts in the latter stages (some of which likely results from the malaise associated with beating the pants off opponents).
In the end, City vaulted Liverpool for top spot in the Premier League, and for all the stalwarts in the squad, Saturday was Jesus' day.
Beyond the two goals on two attempts, Jesus offered a well-rounded display and a robust accord with attack mates Sane and Riyad Mahrez. The Sao Paulo-born international had 52 touches, made 40 passes, and created two chances. He was also an irrepressible threat in other areas, winning two fouls and a pair of aerial duels, and, in the 57th minute, dropping deep into midfield to challenge an out-of-position Keane for the ball. Diminutive compared to the Everton defender's hulking frame, Jesus was understandably flattened by his opponent, but it was more than an opportunity to regain possession; it was emblematic of a player with a fearless belief. For a footballer whose spirit has been at times short on center-backbite, it was a seminal display.
In his first English-language interview since joining the Premier League holders two years ago, a content Jesus said: "I needed this game."
His performance Saturday was just one of many symbols of City's fortune - in this case, not the affluence of their Abu Dhabi ownership, but the wealth of having football's deepest squad.