"I wondered how he would react after Vidic went off injured, but he was absolutely superb."
Pallister feels that Ferdinand's growing maturity has lead to a blossoming of his leadership qualities, which have become an increasingly vital asset for United.
"It's something he does a lot more now. At the start of his United career he didn't really do that.
"I think Gary Neville's absence has meant that he has had to come forward. Gary not being in the team has seen Rio come out of his shell."