Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes Javier Hernandez's late winner in the 2-1 victory at Stoke could prove crucial in this season's Barclays Premier League title race.
Ferguson has endured a remarkable week at Old Trafford and, after finally persuading Wayne Rooney to sign a new five-year contract, saw his side produce a laboured display at the Britannia Stadium.
Hernandez flicked in a header in the first half but Stoke substitute Tuncay curled in a marvellous equaliser nine minutes from time. However the Mexican nicknamed 'Chicharito' popped up to poke in a winner with four minutes left to cut Chelsea's lead at the top to a manageable five points.
Ferguson said: "When their goal went in you start to say to yourself it is going to be one of those seasons, but Chicharito came up with the winner.
"The supporters` reaction was fantastic to the goal and our players` reaction was fantastic. It is the kind of goal United score over the years. A late goal met by incredible enthusiasm by the fans. They knew it was an important one.
"Hopefully we can now kick on. We have some important games between now and Christmas time and we have to make our mark in the league now."