Summary

  • The Mexican striker was marshalled well by Schalke's defence but still made a positive impact.
  • Secured the win for Leverkusen with a well-taken finish on the hour-mark.
  • Excellent overall contribution to the team.

Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez may be one of the most well-known Mexicans on the planet but he demonstrated traditional German traits in helping Bayer 04 Leverkusen come from two goals down to beat FC Schalke 04 3-2 on Saturday evening.

Anyone who has witnessed the 27-year-old in action this season will know that he has a flair for the spectacular, as his stunning strike against VfL Wolfsburg and hat-trick against Borussia Mönchengladbach showed.

Yet his performance at the VELTINS Arena stood out for qualities that are highly-prized in his new country of residence: efficiency, hard work and a never-say-die attitude.

Schalke targeted Leverkusen's midfield in an effort to cut off Chicharito's supply line and the tactic worked: the Mexican only had 29 touches, the fewest of any player who stayed on the pitch for 90 minutes.

Chicharito frequently chased back in midfield en route to running almost 11 kilometres over the 90 minutes.

However, that does not mean the Guadalajara native was not involved - far from it in fact.

  • With his side chasing the game Chicharito increased his work-rate, running 10.69 kilometres compared to his average of 10.05 km this season. That contributed to Leverkusen covering more ground (121.8 km) than any other side on Matchday 31.
  • Schalke are a physical team, but the striker led by example in winning a greater percentage of tackles (77 per cent) than any of his team-mates.
  • He completed 72 per cent of his passes, made 19 sprints and 58 fast-paced runs.
  • He only had one shot on goal (compared to an average of 2.3 per game) – and scored.
  • Hernandez's Bundesliga tally now reads 17 goals from 26 outings, putting him fourth in the league's top scorers' chart this term.