Chicha off and running

"In his cameo outing at Southampton, Chicharito provided a thrust that had been missing in the Reds’ attack, charging down every seemingly lost cause and playing off defenders’ shoulders – everything he does best."

- James Tuck, ManUtd.com

04/09/2012 14:07, Report by James Tuck
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Good signs for Chicharito

I reckon Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez will be feeling a little happier as he heads off for Mexico’s World Cup qualifying double-header with Costa Rica.

The striker often admirably insists he doesn’t care whether he plays one minute or 90 for United, as long as he’s ready to help the team when called upon.

Yet it would be understandable if he were just a little disappointed not to have been involved more heavily at the start of the Barclays Premier League season.

He was reportedly downbeat after being left out of the matchday squad for the opening-day defeat at Everton, and he didn’t get off the bench against Fulham.

So he’ll have been determined to make an impression when he entered the fray as a 72nd-minute substitute at St Mary’s on Sunday, with United 2-1 down against an inspired Southampton side.

And it showed. In his cameo outing, Chicharito provided a thrust that had been missing in the Reds’ attack, charging down every seemingly lost cause and playing off defenders’ shoulders – everything he does best.

He didn’t score himself but he certainly had a part to play in United’s back-from-the-dead victory, courtesy of Robin van Persie’s hat-trick.

And his manager made a point of singling out his 24-year-old frontman for praise in interviews with both MUTV and Sky Sports after the game.

"Chicharito came on and made a difference,” Sir Alex said. “He started stretching them with fantastic runs off the ball and I was delighted with his performance."

Hernandez will now look to help El Tri take another step closer to qualification for Brazil 2014 by beating Costa Rica away and at home on 7 and 11 September.

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