Man Utd defender Rafael using last season as derby motivation

Manchester United defender Rafael da Silva has said that a win over Manchester City on Sunday will be a huge boost for the Red Devils in their Premier League title challenge.

City, currently undefeated in the league this season, host United in Sunday’s fixture at the Etihad Stadium, and Sky Sports has reported that Rafael, 21, believes that the possible six point advantage that United would claim with a win would be a significant step in reclaiming the title. “If we open the gap, it can make the other team nervous and make it easier for us,” Rafael said.

United’s memories of last season’s final day are still sharp with Rafael, and he says the experience of that day is a constant motivator for the squad this season. He added: “There is definitely a determination to get the title back after the way we lost it. It was hard to take.

We will never forget how we felt after the last game. We just looked at each other and asked, ‘How did we lose that?’ After last season we just want the title back.

The Brazilian full-back, who’s made 14 Premier League appearances this season, scoring two goals along the way, has been almost a guaranteed starter for the Reds this season, although he suffered a first-half substitution in United’s last league game, as Reading put three goals past United inside 30 minutes.

But Rafael, who is expected to start against City, admits that United’s defending that day wasn’t good enough. “If we defend like we did at Reading against a team like City, we will be in trouble, that is 100 per cent. This will be our biggest test of the season so we will need to concentrate well, Rafael said.

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