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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Arsene Wenger's hidden gem

Arsenal
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Ferguson set to give Hernandez a start

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson says Javier Hernandez has picked himself in the starting line-up after a stunning display in United's 3-2 win over Aston Villa on Saturday.

• Blog: Busby's ethos alive
• Aston Villa 2-3 Manchester United

Hernandez has had an impact from the United bench on a number of occasions this season, in both the Champions League and Premier League, but has moved quickly to shake the 'super-sub' tag.

The 24-year-old scored a brace to recover his side's two-goal deficit at Villa Park, in similar fashion to the Champions League win over Braga last month, and after pushing for a starting spot all season, Hernandez is set to be rewarded in next week's clash with Norwich.

"He's fresh this season. He had a good break over the summer and the way he was when he first came to us is what we're seeing today," Ferguson said. "That is his natural thing. He's fantastic in the penalty box with his movement, quickness and being in space.

"It's got him three goals in this game. When you score a hat-trick, you pick yourself. I think he'll be playing next week.

Hernandez replaced Ashley Young at half-time and found the net just 13 minutes later before forcing an own goal out of Ron Vlaar and scoring the match winner three minutes from time.

But he remained coy about his own achievements, insisting the win was more important than scoring goals for him.

"It's not important who scored the goals," Hernandez said. "What's important is that Manchester United is top of the league.

"We came back from two down and that's great. It was not in my mind that I was going to change the game. I just wanted to do my best and do what the gaffer told me. He said just to do what I do in training - to run in behind and move the defenders."

United have often had to come from behind this season after making slow starts, but Ferguson believes that resilience to pursue a result is crucial for top teams.

"We put pressure on ourselves but we got through it," Ferguson said. "I think that it's a little lesson that we really need to be better defensively. I admire the players and the tenacity of the performances. When they are needed, they do it. Our attacking play is terrific at times.

"It was an absolutely magnificent result for us and a magnificent game, I must say. Aston Villa were fantastic and worked their socks off. But you have to feel sorry for them after the effort they put in. But we never give in and hit the bar twice. Once we conceded the second goal, we came alive."

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