Friday 23 March 2018

Ferguson hails 'first class' Hernandez

Alex Ferguson described his new signing Javier Hernandez as "first class" after the striker scored against Manchester United as the Premier League club lost 3-2 to Club Deportivo Guadalajara (known by their nickname Las Chivas) in the final game of their American tour yesterday.

Hernandez played the first half for his old club and the second for his new side and made an immediate impact when he scored after only eight minutes.

Chris Smalling levelled two minutes later, but Adolfo Bautista re-established the lead for Guadalajara after 38 minutes and Hector Reynoso made it 3-1 just before the hour, before Nani pulled one back for United in the 79th minute.

"Chicharito was first class," said Ferguson, using Hernandez's nickname. "His goal was a marvellous strike. Chivas played well and they were quick. They pressed the ball well and made things difficult for us. They deserved to win. As for us, we've done lots of travelling and I think the players need to go home and rest now."

The Scot has been impressed by Hernandez in his first week of training with United. "Chicharito has done really well. I think there are similarities between him and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. There are big possibilities of a partnership with Wayne Rooney."

Meanwhile, although the words 'Arsenal' and 'Marouane Chamakh' have been mentioned so often in the same sentence during the past 18 months that it seemed strange to think that this 1-1 draw with AC Milan was finally his home debut.

Arsene Wenger refused to meet Bordeaux's asking price last summer and has patiently waited a full year before recruiting Chamakh for nothing.

First impressions yesterday were encouraging enough to prompt both hope and regret. The regret related to what might have been last season if Wenger had splashed out the £15m that would surely have clinched the deal.

But a new season is a time to look forward rather than backwards and it is clear that Chamakh will provide more variation to the Arsenal attack.

After some encouraging early touches, Chamakh also weighed in with the one commodity that he will be judged on above all others: a goal. The build-up owed much to the touch and vision of Andrei Arshavin, whose delicately cushioned through-ball split AC Milan's defence.

Sunday Independent

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