Stewart Gardner Blogs On Manchester United Win At Chelsea

Mr Nice Guy upsets Blues

While some high-profile players continue to give professional footballers a bad name, it’s worth paying tribute to one of the good guys – Javier Hernandez.

Ashley Young and Javier Hernandez

You’d struggle to find a nicer bloke. He’s always ready with a smile, always acknowledges your existence and plays with an infectious enthusiasm. Frankly, if your daughter brought him home, you’d be pleased!

It was always going to be a big ask to follow his explosive first season with more of the same and so it proved. Injuries, playing too much football and the simple fact that opposing players were used to him contributed to a slight dip in performances last season – although 12 goals is hardly a bad return. But after a full pre-season, the Mexican appears to be back to his best.

He was superb against Braga in midweek and I was delighted to see him get the winner at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. How Chelsea must be sick of the sight of him! That’s five times he’s scored against the Londoners now and, even though there was an element of fortune about the goal, you have to say he turned home Rafael’s errant shot with great aplomb.

I have to admit I don’t feel too sorry for Chelsea after a couple of decisions went against them. Time and again in recent years, we’ve returned from West London fuming at refereeing decisions that have cost us dear. In fact, I think we’ve played far better at Chelsea and lost in previous seasons than we did at the weekend.

The game itself showed once again why there’s nothing to touch the chaotic nature of the Barclays Premier League. Compare that game to the arid wasteland of football we have to put up with during the international breaks. It had everything – great attacking play, dodgy defending, controversy and hostility on and off the field.

One factor that perhaps got a little lost amidst the maelstrom was the performance of David De Gea. He made a couple of really brilliant saves from Gary Cahill and Fernando Torres and, while people are quick to pounce on any errors he makes, it’s only fair to point out his stunning shot-stopping ability.

United have come through stiff tests at Liverpool, Newcastle and Chelsea with maximum points and yet have only played their very best football in relatively short bursts. So what a platform to build on as we enter a hectic spell of games in three competitions.


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