Manchester United picked up a vital three points in yesterday’s Barclays Premier League match at Stoke City with two goals from Javier Hernandez helping them to a last-gasp 1-2 victory.
But the Mexican’s goals were made all the more important by the context provided by the helter-skelter week the North-West English club had endured in the build-up to the game – namely the turmoil surrounding Wayne Rooney’s very public contract negotiations.
As if to fill the adoration-vacuum left by Rooney’s apparent mercenary nature, Hernandez provided two excellent goals to give Red fans something to cheer, and a new hero up front.
It only took a week.
Hernandez, or “Chicharito” to his friends, has surely moved up in manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s estimation, as the Scotsman said:
“When their goal went in you start to say to yourself it is going to be one of those seasons, but Chicharito came up with the winner.”
United’s unofficial club spokesman, Gary Neville, was full of praise for the Mexican striker, “Hernandez deserves this” he said in a BBC interview, because “he works so hard in training.”
If Rooney’s shenanigans hinted at a rift running through Manchester United, then Hernandez’ late winner certainly helped to paper over those cracks.
It looks as though Old Trafford has a new favourite centre forward – for at least as long as last week remains in the forefront of everyone’s mind.
Man Utd remain in touching distance of last season’s Champions, Chelsea, who sit five points ahead at the top of the Barclays Premier League.