Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez was the talk of the town after stepping of the bench to inspire Bayer 04 Leverkusen to victory against top-four rivals VfL Wolfsburg. - © © imago / Müller
Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez was the talk of the town after stepping of the bench to inspire Bayer 04 Leverkusen to victory against top-four rivals VfL Wolfsburg. - © © imago / Müller
Bundesliga

Brilliant Hernandez rekindles Bayer's top-four interest

Bayer 04 Leverkusen are daring to dream of a place in next season's UEFA Champions League, thanks in no small part to the sensational Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez.

Match report: Leverkusen 3-0 Wolfsburg

The 27-year-old's 15th Bundesliga goal of the season was the pick of the bunch on Friday night as Die Werkself swotted aside 2014/15 Bundesliga runners-up VfL Wolfsburg in a win that keeps them firmly in the mix for a top-four finish.

Man of the match

- © imago / foto2press

Adding to the Matchday 28 experience was the long-awaited Bundesliga debut of Charles Aranguiz. The Chile international midfielder tore an Achilles tendon just a week after joining the club from SC Internacional last summer, but now appears to have put his injury nightmare behind him.

"I'm just delighted that he was able to play a bit today," returning Leverkusen captain Lars Bender enthused - Aranguiz having replaced veteran striker Stefan Kießling in the 89th minute. "He's finally a part of he team. Now he just needs a couple of games behind him and to build up his confidence. It's going to be a decisive year for him."

For Leverkusen as a whole, however, it is the more immediate future that is of paramount importance. The race for the remaining Champions League places looks almost certain to go right to the wire, but with games against top-four rivals FC Schalke 04, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Hertha Berlin still to come, Bayer's destiny is in their own hands.

- © imago / Huebner