While I was unable to see Chicharito make his first Champions League start in nearly a year, Josh saw it unfold. His recap and highlights follow.
Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez received his first start for Real Madrid against Bulgarian side Ludogorets. He was subbed out after 67 minutes in a game that was a bit of a mixed bag for him. He drew a penalty in the 10th minute, however Ronaldo’s shot was saved. Later in the first half, a nice header from the Mexican was shot right at Ludogorets keeper Vladislav Stojanov. Hernandez has also shown growth in other areas of his game such as his passing, evident by his improved crosses. In this game, he sent a nice cross Ronaldo’s way but the Portuguese claimed to be fouled and couldn’t get his head on it.
The biggest negative for Hernandez would be a close range shot he missed in the second half. What looked like an easy tap in that was ultimately shot off target in an awkward deflection. Chicharito is known for scoring in different ways, but this was not one of those times.
Overall, it was a decent game for Hernandez but his miss coupled with Benzema’s goal may mean Chicharito will have to start from scratch to earn more minutes. However, Ancelotti defended Chicharito after the game and said he played well despite not getting on the score sheet. La Liga teams enter the Copa Del Rey later this month and that might be his next chance at another start.
–You can follow Josh on Twitter, @JoshuaSomething.