Javier Hernandez was more delighted to see Bayer Leverkusen return to winning ways in the German league by demolishing Borussia Moenchengladbach than with the first club hat-trick of his career.
“Chicharito” needed just 13 second-half minutes to score his three goals in Leverkusen’s 5-0 victory over Gladbach on Saturday as ex-Germany striker Stefan Kiessling also scored either side of half-time at Leverkusen’s BayArena.
Having previously scored a hat-trick for Mexico in 2011, ex-Manchester United and Real Madrid star Hernandez hit the second treble of his career to leave him with 10 league goals this season.
He is in a purple patch with 15 goals in Leverkusen’s last 12 games in all competitions.
Leverkusen climbed to sixth in the Bundesliga with only their second win in their last nine games, something which pleased Hernandez more than his hat-trick.
“I’m going to have the ball in my house, but I’m going to get the team to sign it, because it’s an effort from the whole team, not just me,” said Hernandez in continuing the tradition of taking home the match ball after a hat-trick.
“Some people think a striker’s job is just about scoring goals, but I’m not obsessed with scoring, it’s just a consequence if the team plays well.
“The main thing we take from this game is the way the whole team plays, we did well, but we had a bit of luck.”
Hernandez and Kiessling were superb up front as Gladbach crashed to their first defeat in 11 league games under new coach Andre Schubert.
But four days after his side converted just one of their many chances in a 1-1 draw with Barcelona as they exited the Champions League in disappointing style, the Mexican said football can be unpredictable and that the only difference this time was the rub of the green.
“We played just as well on Wednesday, but we just didn’t score the second goal,” said Hernandez.
“On Wednesday we scored one goal, against Gladbach we scored five, that’s football — you can’t predict anything.”
Kiessling, who has spent much of the season on the bench, looks set to leave Leverkusen in the winter break with German daily Bild reporting Mainz, Hannover, Ingolstadt and Augsburg are all interested in signing him.
“I love playing for this club, but it’s a difficult situation for me,” the Germany international told Sky after being handed an understudy role since Hernandez’s arrival.
Kiessling has been with Leverkusen since 2006, but has a contract until 2017 and coach Roger Schmidt says he is keen to keep him.
“After the way he played against Gladbach, we can’t do without him,” said the Bayer boss with the club set to hold talks with Kiessling once the German league breaks for winter next Sunday. – Agence France-Presse