Manchester United duo Ashley Young and Rafael joined forces to heap praise on teammate Antonio Valencia, after he played a crucial role in United’s 2-0 win over struggling Blackburn on Monday.
Valencia broke the deadlock in the 81st minute with a sublime finish from an acute angle before Young sealed United’s 10th win in 11 top-flight games five minutes later from the edge of the area. The win took United five points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Valencia was making only his 20th EPL appearance of the season, 16 of which have been starts. But there is a strong argument to suggest the Ecuador winger has done more than anyone to advance United’s cause with his assists, goals and even a willingness to defend.
Little wonder Rooney loves playing with him, or that Young and Rafael were so happy to sing his praises. “Antonio was brilliant and he got his rewards with a goal,” said Young. Rafael added: “He just plays his natural game and gets better and better all the time.”