Date: 24th February 2013 at 11:40am
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Rafael on target for Brazil in 2012

To predict the outcome of Manchester United’s visit to QPR seemed somewhat of a no-brainer. In United you had a team top of the league with a record amount of points at this stage of the season firing on all cylinders. In QPR you had a side with 48 points less than United who have only registered two wins in this campaign – yet going into this fixture there was a feeling of uncertainty. 

Harry Redknapp has taken over at Loftus Road, the defence has tightened up and in recent weeks valuable points have been taken from Tottenham, Chelsea and Man City – so a tough game was on the cards.

Sir Alex opted for experience with Vidic, Ferdinand and Giggs starting – and it proved to be a good decision with all three putting in excellent performances.

QPR only really tested David De Gea on one occasion with their attacking threat mainly kept at bay by a solid back four; something we haven’t been able to say too often.

In attack United started with Van Persie and Hernandez. Van Persie was as good as ever for 40 minutes before coming off with a knock – however Hernandez, despite running his socks off, was very quiet.

Welbeck and Rooney both made an appearance but had little effect of the outcome.

United lead 1-0 for a very long time through a wonderful strike from Rafael before Giggs wrapped up the result with ten minutes to go.

If ever there was a season in which a boy becomes a man, this is definitely it for the Brazilian right back.

Yesterday at Loftus Road Rafael continued to demonstrate why he is the best attacking full back in England – but he also showed a tough resilience in his defending, having come in for a lot of criticism after the Real Madrid game two weeks ago.

I appreciate playing against Ronaldo and Ozil is a lot tougher than Townsend and Mackie but none the less a job needed to be done and Rafael did just that.

This season Rafael has kept that aggression  but channeled it positively and seems less of a flight risk. He has maintained his threat going forward whilst not ignoring his defensive duties. His decision making has improved and doesn’t lose his cool as often as before. He has added goal scoring to his game and is now living up to all of the hype which has surrounded him for the past four seasons.

There isn’t a better right back in England at this moment.

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