Rafael: My best goal
Rafael says he has never scored a better goal than the one that set United on the way to victory at QPR on Saturday.
The Brazilian latched onto a loose clearance from the home side 20 yards out and unleashed an unstoppable drive past QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar into the top corner on 23 minutes.
It was the defender’s third goal of the season, the second of which was a stupendous curling winner at Anfield in September. But Rafael, who made a vital contribution at the other end when he cleared Christopher Samba’s first-half header off the line, insists his strike at Loftus Road tops the lot.
“I can’t remember scoring a better goal,” he told MUTV. “The one at Liverpool was different because it was a curling shot, but I can’t remember a better one than this. I think it’s my best.
“I just saw the ball coming towards me and hit it as hard as I could. You can feel by the way you hit the ball that it’s going in. I just hoped it wouldn’t deflect off anyone. It was a good goal.”
The 2-0 win took United 15 points clear of nearest rivals Manchester City, who host Chelsea at the Etihad on Sunday lunchtime.
Rafael insists no-one is getting carried away with the advantage, but maintains that every victory and clean sheet continues to boost the players’ confidence.
“We’re pleased to not be conceding and keeping clean sheets. We want to keep that going and continue picking up points,” he added.
“The more clean sheets we keep the more it improves our confidence. That consistency really helps us. We know what happened last season and that every game is important. We just have to keep winning.”