If Manchester United FC's dramatic late victory at Valencia CF evoked the style of their famous 1999 UEFA Champions League final win against FC Bayern München, then Javier 'Chicharito' Hernández assumed the role of Ole Gunnar Solskjær.
This was only United's second win on Spanish soil since their glory night 11 years ago, signifying a tremendous achievement. And having watched substitutes Solskjær and Teddy Sheringham transform that Camp Nou showpiece, Sir Alex Ferguson found his ambition and confidence rewarded again after sending on young strikers Hernández and Federico 'Kiko' Macheda in the final 13 minutes at the Mestalla.
The two players linked up triumphantly for Hernández's winner five minutes from the whistle, and afterwards the 22-year-old Mexican international showed he possesses the humility which was Solskjær's trademark throughout his wonderful Old Trafford career.
The expression you use for moments like this is that 'there isn't one hero here'," he told UEFA.com. "The work the team put in is what will remain with me as my key memory. Scoring the winner is pleasing, but to come here, win and keep a clean sheet is a testimony to how hard we all worked. We are happy, but this is just the beginning and a time to stay calm. After drawing the first home match, this gives us loads of confidence for the remaining games."
Both Macheda, who had not been on the pitch for 60 seconds before setting up the goal, and Hernández drew praise from team-mate Darren Fletcher. "Our goal was a well-worked move and finished off brilliantly by 'Chicharito' [Hernández]," he told UEFA.com. "Fair play to 'Kiko' [Macheda] because he had the chance to shoot but showed maturity and composure to find 'Chicharito' and give us the valuable win. We came here knowing it was important not to lose, but to take the three points is immense."
Valencia left the stadium beaten but unbowed – at least according to their experienced midfielder David Albelda. "I don't think we have to worry too much about raising the morale of the team after this defeat," he told UEFA.com. "Even though Valencia didn't deserve this result, we played well.
We lost to a fine Champions League team and if we can continue to play this type of football then we will win more than we lose. I think United left with a bigger prize than their performance merited, but we will remain loyal to our playing style until the end."
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