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The Ecuadorian has taken all the plaudits after netting the crucial opening goal in Monday night's 2-0 win at Blackburn which took his side five points clear at the top

Manchester United trio Ashley Young, Rafael and Rio Ferdinand have praised team-mate Antonio Valencia following his sparkling recent run of form.

The Ecuador international has played a key role during United's current run of 10 wins in their last 11 league games which has seen them overtake rivals Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.

Valencia also opened the scoring in Monday night's 2-0 win at Blackburn, a victory which gifted the Red Devils a five-point cushion at the summit.

"Antonio was brilliant and he got his rewards with a goal," Young told reporters following the game. "As a fellow winger I will give him it as a shot [rather than a cross]."

Manchester United are 4.20 with 188Bet to be drawing at half-time and ahead at full-time against QPR
Meanwhile, defender Rafael added: "He just plays his natural game and gets better and better all the time. Maybe the keeper wasn't expecting a shot from that distance. That is why it went in."

Centre-back Rio Ferdinand also joined in the praise on Twitter, saying: “@AntoV25 [Valencia's Twitter account] is a machine #fact.”

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side host QPR on Sunday knowing that a win would stretch their lead over City to eight points before Roberto Mancini’s side play Arsenal.