Ranking Top Moments for Javier Hernandez's First Season With Manchester United
When Sir Alex Ferguson brought Javier Hernandez to Manchester last year, many were left scratching their heads.
Well, a season later, Sir Alex has been justified in his faith, and Hernandez has become a force to be reckoned with.
He had a stellar season for Manchester United last year, and here is a look at the top 10 moments of Hernandez's season at Manchester United.
10. First Official United Goal
Javier Hernandez's first goal for Manchester United may have come in the strangest of ways (i.e. hit off his face and into the net), but it wouldn't have mattered to him.
The elation in his face was there for all to see. He was quite clearly a natural born finisher from the outset—a finisher who was well aware that goals came in all shapes and forms. There wasn't a hint of embarrassment. There was just man...and joy.
This unusual start to his United career would soon herald the coming of one of the most prolific strikers in world football.
9. First Champions League Goal
To acclimatize and settle down in a way that exceeds Sir Alex Feguson's expectation of you is quite a stunt to pull—and Chicarito, as Hernandez is affectionately known, pulled it off with Oscar-worthy performances.
In United's third fixture of the Champions League group stage, they were been held scoreless by Valencia, and it seemed the match was headed for a stalemate.
Enter Javier Hernandez in the 80th minute—five minutes later, Hernandez scored the goal that won us the game. Gathering Kiko Macheda's pass, Hernandez wriggled free from the reach of the Valencia defenders and smashed one into the back of the net.
8. Something from Nothing
To add to his incredible goal-poaching skills, Javier Hernandez was able to showcase a versatility that United were always left thanking him for.
This flick off the back of his head was only one of many instances where his ability to adapt to the situation was showcased. He proved he could score just as well with his head as he could with his feet.
In a match vs Everton in April of this year, Hernandez had had two previous attempt on goal—aimed at roof of the net—saved by Everton's goalkeeper Tim Howard.
Sensing the game was a crucial juncture and nearing its end, he knew he had score from his very next opportunity. And he did—and this time, he headed down low.
7. Once a Savior, Always a Savior
In this Carling Cup match against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Manchester United's strength in depth was put to test.
Sir Alex Ferguson had decided to play a youthful side, and as things progressed, United found themselves in need of a goal to win the game.
Again, enter Javier Hernandez.
Coming on as a substitute in the 80th minute, Hernandez scored the match winner in the 90th. A clever pass by Darron Gibson into the path of Chicarito left the Mexican with a route through to goal.
As expected, it was buried in the back of the net.
Playing with a great level of versatility that most young strikers are unable to equal is not where it ends with Javier Hernandez. His awareness is also top class.
Watching his calculated runs to reach the ball before the defenders did, you were left with a distinct sense that here was a striker in the mold of Gary Lineker, Michael Owen and Raul Gonzalez.
As seen in the video, his first goal against Wigan defies the odds. How could he have squeezed that in, let alone time his run half as well as he did?
His second goal of the game is also to be admired. He shows great control and a good touch, he turns his marker—exhibiting a huge change of pace—and calmly slots the ball past the goalkeeper. Textbook.
5. Marseille's Double Trouble
Javier Hernadez showcased his clinical finishing skills through a number of decisive goals in his first season at Manchester United.
If there were a performance to act as a portrait of Hernandez's abilities, it would be his double against Marseille.
In the Champions League, where the spotlight is at the brightest, Hernandez didn't waver. Both goals showcased the typical Javier Hernandez skill set. Awareness, versatility, calm in the eye of the storm and clinical finishing.
4. Say Your Prayers
Seeing Javier Hernandez kneel down to pray before each game he started was one of the sights of the season.
Not fazed by 15,000-plus people probably staring at him, the Mexican always stood firm by his beliefs—proof of the strength of his character.
Perhaps he gets his powers from the heavens?
3. Scoring Against Big Teams
Scoring against your biggest rivals and one of the best teams on the planet is just about the most enjoyable thing one can do on a football pitch.
Added pleasure will have come from the fact that this goal was scored after just 36 seconds—talk about having your shooting boots on.
Credit must go to Park Ji-Sung whose defense splitting ball set up the whole move and left Chelsea's Petr Cech at Chicarito's mercy.
United fans will no doubt take solace from what seems like a penchant in Hernandez for scoring against big teams on big occasions. His goal at Old Trafford in the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinal all but ended Chelsea's hopes.
2. Lifting the EPL Title
There is no greater reward than lifting the League title with your teammates at the end of a long and hard season.
It doesn't hurt either to have it in the back of your mind that there is a possibility none of it would be possible without you.
After such a first season, the medal around his neck was more than deserved.
1. Starting the Champions League Final
A starting place in the XI of a Champions League final against Barcelona is no small feat. How many Mexicans have achieved that let alone Latin Americans?
Relegating a player of Dimitar Berbatov's stature to the bench for over half a season is the stuff of natural born champions—natural selection at its best.
And when the legend that is Pele starts to talk about you, you know you're made.
There is no doubt that Hernandez is a promising player. He is excellent, I have seen some games of his on television, and he is a fantastic footballer.
He could be the next Messi because he has great talent. He is a big surprise just as Hugo Sanchez was because he is another that scores a lot of goals.
It takes one to know one, huh Pele? It takes one to know one.