STOKE (1) vs MANCHESTER UTD (2)
MEXICO striker Javier Hernandez reminded Wayne Rooney there was nothing wrong with the quality of Manchester United’s summer signings by firing the Red Devils to their first Premier League away win of the season.
Following a crazy week in which the England talisman had declared his desire to leave Old Trafford and questioned the club’s ambition, only to then sign a new five-year contract, Hernandez ensured it was another United forward who would finally grab the headlines.
The 22-year-old international struck twice at the Britannia Stadium to keep his team within five points of leaders Chelsea and ahead of arch rivals Manchester City on goal difference.
“Here there are no heroes, it’s all about the team,” said Hernandez, who joined United from Chivas Guadalajara before the World Cup.
“We are very happy with the result. We know about Stoke’s style and are delighted.”
Hernandez had given his side a deserved first-half lead with an athletic header past Thomas Sorensen but it looked as though it would be more points dropped by Sir Alex Ferguson’s men when substitute Tuncay struck a stunning equaliser with nine minutes left.
Too many times already this season United have failed to protect a lead, notably against Fulham, Bolton and West Brom, but this time they got away with it as Hernandez turned home the winner from close range four minutes later. The goal sparked mass celebrations from the visitors, and after the game Ferguson said he hoped the result would kick start his team’s title challenge.
“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,” he added. “It is the kind of goal United score over the years. Hopefully we can kick on. We have some important games between now and Christmas and we have to make our mark in the league now.”