Born again

"His Braga brace announced to the world that Chicharito is back. Just as importantly, so is the winning smile."

- Nick Coppack,

25/10/2012 08:30, Report by Nick Coppack
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Blog: A super sub

You'd think two goals and a man-of-the-match performance would make you immune to substitution.

And yet, in Tuesday night's dramatic come-from-behind Champions League victory over SC Braga, Javier Hernandez found his night cut short by Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Mexican had both started the Reds' revival from two goals down and completed the comeback to earn the three points and preserve United's perfect start to this season's European campaign.

So he’d be forgiven if he was a little surprised upon seeing the no.14 appear on the fourth official's electronic board. And yet it also made perfect sense.

Sir Alex is a master of man management and his decision to hook Hernandez on 80 minutes ensured the striker received a standing ovation from all four sides of the ground.

At the final whistle, the Stretford End went a step further and chanted the Mexican's name as he headed for the tunnel, training coat casually draped around his shoulders, face adorned with a broad grin.

He was the night’s hero and the adulation will have done wonders for his confidence.

Hernandez, like all strikers, thrives on scoring goals. And it's something the Mexican had only managed, before Tuesday night, to do once in his last 13 United appearances.

What's more, those contributions have largely been from the bench. Even after his starring starting role against Braga his statistics show he's been used more times as a substitute this season than from the first whistle.

Not all has been rosy on the international front, either. In Mexico's recent match against Guyana, Hernandez missed a penalty and was booed by some sections of his own support. Mexico's Golden Boy seemed to have lost some of his shine.

So it will have pleased him as much as anybody else that his performance on Tuesday night proved his goalscoring

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