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Hernandez Sends Man United To Quarter Finals

Mexican forward Javier Hernandez took his Manchester United tally to six goals in 11 games since arriving in a  £7 million summer transfer from Chivas de Guadalajara, by packing off Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-2 on Tuesday

PTI [ Updated: October 27, 2010 13:01 IST ]
hernandez sends man united to quarter finals
hernandez sends man united to quarter finals

Mexican forward Javier Hernandez took his Manchester United tally to six goals in 11 games since arriving in a  £7 million summer transfer from Chivas de Guadalajara, by packing off Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-2 on Tuesday night.

 The green and gold sombreros dotted around Old Trafford might soon outnumber the green and gold scarves if  Hernandez continues to send Wayne Rooney spiraling down the popularity stakes at Manchester United, reports The Telegraph.
As extra-time beckoned for Mick McCarthy's team, Hernandez offered another example of his predatory instinct in front of goal with a 90th-minute strike.
Rooney has probably already been left slightly red-faced by the Dubai sunshine on his mid-season break, but by voicing his concerns over United's transfer policy as he attempted to justify his Old Trafford exit strategy last week, the newly-remunerated forward may have to accept further embarrassment if the likes of Hernandez and Bebe, who scored his first goal for United in this victory, proceed to build on their bright starts for the club.
Rooney was not alone in wanting more celebrated and established names to join him at United during the summer.
The supporters, fearing a financial squeeze imposed by the club's owners, the Glazer family, were also hoping for eye-catching arrivals to rival those tempted to Manchester City.
And despite Sir Alex Ferguson's vocal faith in Old Trafford's emerging talent, this fixture was still viewed as an acid test of their credentials, particularly in the wake of Rooney's remarks.
It was by no means plain-sailing against Wolves, but Ferguson's blend of youthful promise and under-performing senior players ultimately secured the victory that sees holds United take their place in the quarter-finals.
If the kids carry United all the way to Wembley, will Rooney step aside to allow them to their shot at the silverware that he craves?
Perhaps not, but with Hernandez in this form, it will be the 22 year-old and one other up-front for Ferguson's team, so Rooney will have to fight Dimitar Berbatov for the distinction of partnering Old Trafford's new golden boy.
Hernandez's winner, teed up by Darron Gibson's visionary pass, was a left-foot strike after a feint had taken him past the sliding Steven Mouyokolo. A terrific finish, but it was harsh on Wolves, who deserved more.
Not one of Ferguson's starting XI in the 2-1 victory at Stoke on Sunday was called upon to start this fixture, but while the United manager offered his younger players the opportunity to prove their worth, selection for this tie was further evidence of the purgatory being experienced by Wes Brown and Michael Carrick.
Prior to this game, two players with experience of World Cups with Englandhad managed a combined total of six starts between them all season.
And while the likes of Bebe, Federico Macheda and Gabriel Obertan would view this outing as a chance to stake their claim, Brown and Carrick would more likely be casting a glimpse to the directors' box in the hope that one of the observers might be prepared to offer them an escape route in January.
None of the established stars did much in the first-half, however, to convince Ferguson that they were worthy of consideration for more challenging fixtures.
Wolves, who suffered a 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford in the third round of this competition last season, were barely troubled, despite making seven changes from the team beaten at Chelsea at the weekend.
Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey had just one shot to save in a desperately poor opening period, but it was more like a back-pass than an attempt on goal from Macheda.
Wolves were equally toothless at the other end, however. United goalkeeper Ben Amos had even less to deal with than Hennessey as the visitors failed to threaten the final third.
In front of banks of empty seating in a crowd of 46,083 - Old Trafford's lowest since October 2005 - the United supporters were at least given a promising glimpse of Bebe, the £7.4m summer signing whose arrival from Guimaraes prompted so much scrutiny.
Ferguson admitted to not having seen the Portuguese winger play prior to sanctioning his purchase in August and his delayed introduction to first-team duty led to claims that United had been the victims of a transfer market mugging.
But while he still appears short of the physical requirements in terms of his muscular strength and condition, Bebe does not lack pace or adventure.
And he deserved his goal on 56 minutes when his cross-cum-shot, which Kevin Foley cleared from behind the line, gave United the lead.
Wolves fought back, however, and George Elokobi equalised with a powerful header from David Jones's corner five minutes later.
Macheda and Ji-Sung Park wasted clear chances to score before the South Korean restored United's lead on 70 minutes after Mouyokolo had nudged the ball into his path on the edge of the penalty area.
But United once again conceded quickly, with Foley taking advantage of poor defending to make it 2-2 on 76 minutes.
Extra-time appeared inevitable, despite the yawning gaps in both defences, but Hernandez spared United a further half-hour with his winning goal.
The Little Pea is becoming a big noise and it is a safe bet to assume his name is now ringing in Rooney's ears.

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