The Brazilian defender struck his thunderbolt shot from 20 yards in the 23rd minute to set the Reds on the way to a comfortable 2-0 win at Loftus Road. He then went about helping United to an eighth clean sheet of the Barclays Premier League campaign, whilst retaining a 12-point lead at the top of the table.
Rafael bagged a majority 72 per cent of votes in ManUtd.com’s Man of the Match poll, ahead of Ryan Giggs (18 per cent), Nemanja Vidic (5 per cent), Michael Carrick (4 per cent) and Danny Welbeck (1 per cent).
Giggs turned in another impressive display on his 999th appearance as a professional, scoring United's second, while Carrick's name was sung loudly in the second half as the Reds' away following applauded his efforts.
But Reds boss Sir Alex was quick to praise his 22-year-old right-back's excellent form. "Rafa's had an absolutely magnificent season,” he said. "He's got three goals this season and he's maturing all the time. He had a fantastic day."