West Ham’s Javier Hernandez came off the bench against Huddersfield Town and inspired the Hammers to a remarkable comeback with a headed brace in stoppage time. In doing so, the Mexican stopped the Terriers from moving off the foot of the table making him Maryam Naz’s Offside Rule Player of the Week.
1) Ahead of the game
Despite being one of the smallest players on the pitch, Chicharito led his side to stoppage-time victory with two sumptuous headed goals.
Hernandez’s first goal came courtesy of his teammate Samir Nasri who was able to use his guile and composure to find him at the far post. The 30-year-old had been left unmarked by Tommy Smith and co, allowing him to easily head in the equaliser.
The Terriers defenders were to be embarrassed again a mere seven minutes later. Felipe Anderson’s left-wing cross dissected Huddersfield’s central defence and found Hernandez in space. The Mexican international, too quick for Jon Stankovic, connected ball to head to evade keeper Jonas Lossi and score the winner.
2) Premier League poacher
After witnessing his side slump to a 3-1 scoreline in the first half, Manuel Pelligrini’s choice to bring on Hernandez proved to be fruitful.
And given that all 52 of Chicharito’s goals in the Premier League have come from inside the box, it’s not surprising to see him thrive in an advanced attacking role.
The West Ham forward became a handful for the Huddersfield back four – they could not pin him down, nor were they able to successfully track his darting runs into the box.
On several occasions, Hernandez was found by Nasri and Anderson in threatening positions. Whether it was hovering behind the last defender or slipping in between the centre-backs, the Huddersfield defence were thwarted by his natural flair to thrive in and around the box.
3) Superb super sub
The Mexican might have mentioned wanting to become a more regular starter, but he has proved to be at his best when he comes off the bench.
Indeed, Chicharito was known for his abilities to score abundantly when brought into the game via substitution at Manchester United and has brought these same traits to West Ham.
Hernandez has shown an ability to adapt to the intensity of matches, despite not being present from the beginning of the game.Embed from Getty Images
On Saturday, the Hammer’s forward had to quickly adjust to the Terriers counter-attacking style of play – one that had led them to their 3-1 lead.
But Pellegrini’s super sub wasn’t fazed by this. He led his side to victory in a calm and collected manner.
4) Honorary mentions
Chicharito earned our Player of the Week accolade with his match-winning brace, but would not have been able to do so without the help of his teammate Nasri.
The Frenchman played with shades of the same performances that led him to success at Manchester City. He secured one assist and a 100% pass accuracy rate against the Terriers.
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