Rafael da Silva has claimed that United have been so strong down the right flank this season because of his understanding with his best pal Antonio Valencia.

“To be honest, I think it’s well recognised by everybody that Antonio has been one of my best friends at the club,” Rafael told MUTV. “That’s not to disrespect anyone but I think we have created a very good understanding on the pitch. I can feel what he wants to do and vice versa and that is probably the reason why we have so much understanding on the pitch. I think it’s quite difficult to define Antonio’s qualities on the pitch. He’s quite fast and direct. He looks for the ball all the time. If I go forward, he covers me at the back and vice versa. It’s easy to work with him and, when I see him on the pitch, it leaves me more relaxed due to the understanding we have on the field.”