Pablo Hernandez admits he could not contain his excitement after scoring a late winner for Leeds United against former club Swansea City in July.
The game looked destined to end goalless at the Liberty Stadium until the Spaniard struck at the death to earn Marcelo Bielsa’s men all three points on July 12.
Hernandez quickly took off his shirt after slotting beyond Freddie Woodman and celebrated wildly with his team mates.
Despite defeat, Swansea still went on to secure a play-off place in the Championship, although victory for Leeds significantly strengthened their promotion hopes, with the Whites going on to secure their Premier League return with games to spare.
It comes after Hernandez – who spent two seasons in South Wales between 2012 and 2014 – refused to celebrate after scoring against the Swans in August 2018.
But the 35-year-old says the magnitude of his strike at the Liberty two months ago had to be fully enjoyed given that it kept the Elland Road outfit clear of challengers West Brom and Brentford.
“You can feel my happiness, no? You can feel my excitement,” he told The Athletic.
“Two years ago in Swansea, it was the opposite. I don’t celebrate the goal. But this time I can’t keep it in.
“Maybe if we were playing with fans in the stand, I’d check my celebration but I needed to do something like this. I knew the importance of the goal.
“In that moment we took a bigger step in front.
“I don’t know, maybe if we’d drawn the game nothing would have changed but the goal, it said to West Brom and Brentford that we won’t give them any chances. No chances from us.
“I didn’t have too much time with the shot. I got the ball and you could see a lot of defenders around me. I tried to kick it as close to the post as possible. It’s not the best contact but it goes in. And then you see the celebration.”
Hernandez scored five times in his 71 appearances for Swansea.
The playmaker featured for Leeds in their opening day defeat to reigning Premier League champions at Liverpool last weekend.