Javier Hernandez says Man Utd's Villa comeback was down to belief
Javier Hernandez says Manchester United's incredible comeback against Aston Villa was inspired by manager Sir Alex Ferguson's unshakeable belief.
The striker scored twice as the Premier League leaders came from two goals down to snatch a 3-2 win at Villa Park.
"We've never given up in the history of Manchester United," Hernandez said after his eighth strike of the season.
"That's what the gaffer and all the legends show you. You learn the game is 90 minutes, so you fight to the end."
Villa forward Andreas Weimann had scored either side of half-time to put the hosts 2-0 ahead and threaten United's 17-year unbeaten record at Villa Park. But Ferguson's decision to replace Ashley Young with Hernandez at half-time changed the game.
Hernandez, known as Chicharito, dug the ball out of his feet to poke the ball in for United's first before another of the Mexican's efforts was deflected into his own net by Villa defender Ron Vlaar to level the scores.
Then, with three minutes remaining, Hernandez headed in Robin van Persie's perfectly placed free-kick to complete the incredible turnaround.
When asked how he felt when he came on at half-time, Hernandez said, "I thought 'we can do it'."
Hernandez was only denied a hat-trick by Vlaar's intervention but the United striker said he believed he should be credited with all three goals.
"Of course (I will claim the hat-trick)," he said. "I shot on target, the defender tried to kick it away but he kicked it in the same direction I shot. That's the decision of the referee but I've just seen the replay and that was definitely hitting the target.
"But it doesn't matter who scored the goals. The most important thing is who is top of the league and that we came back from two goals down to win."
Ferguson was delighted with the fighting qualities shown by his side.
"It was a fantastic game," he said. "Villa will be feeling gutted with the effort they put in. They ran their socks off. In the second half our game was fantastic. Once we got that first goal I felt like we were going to do it.
"It just wasn't happening for any of us in the first half. I just felt Chicharito's pace and movement around the box can change games. Once again, as he has been doing all season, he was fantastic. When you score a hat-trick like that he has picked himself next week."
Ferguson echoed his striker's thoughts on the goals and said he hoped he would be allowed to claim a hat-trick. "He deserved that. It would be silly to take it away. It was a great strike. He got himself in a good position. I think he deserves it," Ferguson added.
Defeat leaves Villa just one place above the bottom three and with only two wins to their name this season.
But manager Paul Lambert refused to lay the blame with his players, despite them letting slip a two-goal advantage.
"We gave it absolutely everything, we were brilliant," he said.
"I can't fault the team. We've got lots of young lads in the team and they were great. I can't ask for any more from them."