Over 100 days of not finding the back of the net and several transfer rumors later, Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez seems to have found his goal scoring prowess once again. On Friday the Mexican international scored his second straight brace for Bayer Leverkusen en route to a much-needed win. Strangely this was his first back-to-back brace in his Bundesliga career.
He narrowly missed making history as his teammate Karim Bellarabi scored Bundesliga goal No. 50,000 but Chicharito earned the proverbial hockey assist that led to said goal. Hernandez gave a crisp pass to an open Kai Havertz who provided a low cross for Bellarabi to finish the play but Bayer’s No.7 created the space for the play to ensue.
He’s now scored 5 goals in the last 4 matches for Leverkusen. His two goal performance earned him team man of the match honors again, as he received that last week after his brace against Eintracht Frankfurt. He could receive Bundesliga most valuable player honors for the second week in a row as well if plenty of he receives the majority of votes.
It’s a huge positive for Leverkusen to get Chicharito back on track because they have a Round of 16 Champions League battle on Tuesday against Atletico Madrid. They will face arguably one of the best defenses in football in Atleti but with an in-form Little Pea they could have a better chance of getting a more favorable result at home. Last season’s UCL runners up are currently fourth in the La Liga table and will be no easy task for Chicha and Co.
Domestically, a red-hot Chicharito bodes well for the club because they can make a furious charge for a European championship berth as they currently sit in 8th place in the Bundesliga standings with 34 points but only four points off a Europa League berth and seven from a Champions League spot next season. The last two matches where Hernandez has notched a double, it has resulted in two wins. Leverkusen has upcoming games against 12th place Mainz, Borussia Dortmund (3rd) and Werder Bremen (16th) in the German competition.
The Mexican national team could also use a streaking Chicharito with World Cup Qualifiers still to play and a Confederations Cup roster to construct. By no means is his place with Mexico in doubt but it will be better to have him on his game than not as he continues his pursuit of El Tri’s all-time goal scoring record.