Former Manchester United star Dennis Irwin has said that the Brazilian full-back Rafael Da Silva is likely to pay the penalty for having lacklustre performance against Everton during the weekend by not being selected for the match against Manchester City on Monday night.

Rafael Da Silva made a number of crucial mistakes in the 4-4 draw with Everton during the weekend, which allowed City to move within a point of Manchester United at the top of the table. City now have the chance to go ahead of Manchester United if they win against United at the Etihad stadium, where they have an imperious record.

United appeared to be in a very comfortable position only a few weeks ago after extending the lead at the top of the table to 8 points. However, after suffering a defeat at the hands of Wigan, they allowed Manchester City with a sniff of the title. The 4-4 draw with Everton during the weekend, the match in which United lost a two-goal advantage twice, meant that City are now only three points behind United. Due to his poor performance against Everton, Denis Irwin expects Rafael Da Silva to pay the penalty with this place in the starting line-up.

“Listen, as a defender, you make mistakes. Particularly when you’re young, you do make mistakes and it’s how you learn from the back of that. You actually only learn when you make mistakes at that age and he’ll be the better for that. Hopefully he’ll learn fairly quickly because his partnership with (Antonio) Valencia down the right this season has been really, really good. He’ll (Rafael) learn of this, there’s no doubt about that,” Irwin said in a recent interview given to when the former United star was in Singapore in order to participate in the function.

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Former Manchester United player Nicky Butt has said that he is quite confident that Manchester United will be back to form soon enough for them to challenge for the top honours this season.

The Manchester United squad has come under intense criticism of late following their exit from the Champions League, but former Manchester United and Newcastle United midfielder Nicky Butt has said that he is quite confident about the quality that Manchester United’s youngsters have. Nicky Butt played a vital role for Manchester United during his time at Old Trafford having come through the club as part of the youth system.

He won six Premier League titles with Manchester United before moving to Newcastle United at the start of the millennium. Manchester United’s squad has not come under criticism just for the defeat at the hands of FC Basel, but also the embarrassing defeats they have suffered at the hands of Manchester City and Crystal Palace. Even though the club has lost only three games this season, all the three games have been extremely important and very embarrassing to the club as a whole – particularly the 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Manchester City. Despite the enormous pressure on their shoulders, Nicky Butt reckons that they will be back to form soon.

“It is a massive test but it’s one I think they will overcome. They need to get over the blow of going out of the Champions League pretty quickly if they are going to get anything from this season. It’s important to bounce back from bad results when you play for a club like Manchester United and it will be a test of character to see if they can do that,” said Butt. After City’s defeat to Chelsea, Manchester United remain just two points behind the League leaders.

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