Plenty to Ponder for Moyes after European Bow

It was a night which answered many questions but at the same time raised other concerns for David Moyes on his first European night at Old Trafford.

The 4-2 scoreline highlights the obvious good and bad aspects of the performance.

Rooney was at his brilliant best in the 4-2 win

Rooney was at his brilliant best in the 4-2 win

With Wayne Rooney putting the summer’s transfer debacle behind him to put in a man of the match performance, United looked dangerous every time they went forward, a far cry from the rather toothless showing against Crystal Palace at the weekend. Indeed, it should have been 6-2 had it not been for two sitters being missed, by Rooney and Robin Van Persie.

Rooney had a hand in three of three of the goals, claiming an assist and scoring two himself, as well as having a 97% pass completion rate.

His two goals took Rooney to 200 goals for United since his arrival in 2004. If Moyes can keep him producing these sort of performances for the next few years, he will easily break Bobby Charlton’s club record of 249.

Moyes will also have been pleased with the performance of his deadline day signing Marouane Fellaini.

The Belgian looked at home sitting deep alongside Michael Carrick, protecting the back four and helping to break up Leverkusen’s counter attacks. His influence faded slightly in the second half but it was very encouraging to see.

Fellaini also impressed in midfield

Fellaini also impressed in midfield

Fellaini said when he arrived at the club that he “wanted to be the new Roy Keane.” He has a long way to go to get anywhere near the Irishman, but he showed last night that he gives the midfield something that has been lacking since Keane left in 2005: The physicality with which to dominate the opposition.

With Fellaini and Carrick sitting deep, Rooney, Valencia and the returning Kagawa had the freedom to push further on, which all three did to good effect.

But whilst Rooney and Fellaini gave Moyes plenty to be pleased with, the defensive performance will raise concerns.

Both goals for the visitors were brought about by careless play. For the first, there was plenty of opportunity to clear the ball before it eventually reached Simon Rolfes.

The second was arguably even worse. Rio Ferdinand and David De Gea’s complete lack of communication meant that Ferdinand gave away a needless corner, from which the Spaniard came and got nowhere near the ball and Toprak could scramble home amidst the confusion.

All of the back four were guilty of wasting possession but Ferdinand was arguably the most culpable.

If the defence performs like that on Sunday at the Etihad, then the likes of Aguero, Silva and co. could have a field day.

So, whilst Moyes will be pleased overall with his Champions League bow, there is still work to do.

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