By ESPNSTAR.com staff
Just as United appeared to be staring into the jaws of defeat, Hernandez came off the bench to produce another superb performance. He set United on the road to a trademark comeback with a goal early in the second-half to make it 2-1 before seeing his shot deflect in off Ron Vlaar to level scores for United.
And the Mexican capped his night with the winning goal in the 87th minute
Hernandez has consistently had to feature from the bench as the likes of Danny Welbeck, Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney have often been preferred for the starting berths. But he has scored seven goals from his past five appearances in a Red Devils shirt, putting himself firmly in contention for a regular starting position for the rest of the season.
Ferguson admits that he would now be seriously considering that option following the Mexico international's match-winning performance on Saturday afternoon.
"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 told reporters after the game. .
"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, affectionately known as Chicharito by United fans, was remarkably humble when reflecting on his own performance. He insisted that he was happy to have helped his side secure three points on the day.
"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 boss told me," the 24-year-old said.
"He said just to do what I do in training - to run in behind and move the defenders."
But Ferguson will have to examine the defensive aspect of the game as several errors allowed Villa to get into dangerous goalscoring positions:
"We put pressure on ourselves but we got through it. I think that it's a little lesson that we really need to be better defensively," the Scotsman said.
"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.
"Our attacking play is terrific at times."
United extended their lead to four points over nearest challengers Chelsea for at least a day as the Blues are yet to host Liverpool for their weekend fixture.