10/11/2012 21:02, Report by Adam Bostock
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Hernandez claims treble

Javier Hernandez is claiming a first hat-trick for Manchester United – even if most observers have awarded the Reds' second goal at Villa Park to home defender Ron Vlaar.

The Mexican showed the same determination in his post-match interview as he did when he inspired his team's comeback from 2-0 down to 3-2.

"I’ve seen the replay and I think it’s going on target," Chicharito told MUTV.

"The defender tried to get it away but I think he kicked it in the same direction as I shot."

Chicharito symbolically carried the matchball off the pitch, and asked his team-mates to sign it in the United dressing room. But even if his triple is eventually downgraded to a double by the Premier League's Dubious Goals Committee, the half-time substitute will be happy to know he still played a pivotal part in the Reds' thrilling victory.

"It felt unbelievable to score the winner," said Chicharito, referring to the final goal that was definitely his – a header from van Persie's free-kick.

"But the most important thing is we get the three points and we’re still on the top with a four-point gap. We’re very happy."

Chicharito was sent onto the pitch for the start of the second half, when United were trailing 1-0 to the first of Andreas Weimann's two goals for Aston Villa. What were Sir Alex's instructions to him?

"To do my best, to do the things I have been doing in my last few games and on the training ground as well," the smiling match-winner revealed.

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Premier League