Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has defended Rafael da Silva over his performance against Real Madrid.

Ferguson, speaking to MUTV, insists he never considered taking Rafael off at half-time and, sure enough, after the interval it was a different story.

"Obviously Rafa had a trying first half but he coped well in the second half. He calmed down.

"He's a very impetuous boy. He's enthusiastic and wants to win every ball and, of course, he committed himself far too early on a lot of occasions.

"In the second half, he was back to the form he has shown all season and he did really well. For a young boy to recover like that says a lot for him so that was pleasing to get that second-half performance out of him."