Injured in the Community Shield victory over Wigan, Rafael only featured in one other game for the Reds during the opening two months of the campaign – the disappointing 1-0 away defeat at Anfield.
Having recovered from a hamstring strain, Rafael ensured the position he made his own during 2011/12 was re-established in October. Starting in five of the Reds' six games, the tenacious Brazilian offered his customary blend of determination and guile as he starred in three United victories.
After a successful October came an unhappy month, with the Reds no.2 making only one appearance, the 3-1 win against Fulham in November's first match. It was to be a game that would curtail the right-back's month as he departed play 45 minutes after sustaining an ankle knock. The injury kept Rafael out for almost all of November, with his only other appearance coming as an unused substitute against Spurs.
After an inconsistent start to the campaign, Rafael was a virtual ever-present during December. The Brazilian featured in all but two of United’s nine fixtures, bringing flair and