Manchester United may have come out on top in today’s 0-3 win at West Brom, but there were still a few areas of concern very much apparent.

David Moyes’ side have had a lot of problems recently and when Juan Mata was bought to add creativity, he came with his own liability to the side.

Granted, he is one of best playmakers in the world but only when deployed in the central position. Moyes currently favours Wayne Rooney for that role and Mata has too much quality – and too big a price tag – to sit on the bench.

So, he is slotted in on the right. It has its perks going forward, of course, but there is a defensive worry there.

Mata lacks the athleticism to close-in on an attacking full-back or the pace to keep up when tracking back. There were a couple of moments where West Brom could have easily cashed in because of that.

Da Silva lining

Fortunately, the solution could be nearby.

Rafael is a worry every time he plays. He is so committed, and it usually pays off for him, but sometimes he pays for it. He is just coming back from an injury where he landed awkwardly after a committed challenge against Olivier Giroud when Manchester United visited Arsenal in February.

He has a desire that has been rare in a Manchester United shirt this season. No West Brom player got past him in this game, yet he made intelligent runs forward.

In the 33rd minute, he made a clever cut inside and was fouled by Chris Brunt. United scored from the resulting free kick.

The Brazilian also picked an accurate cross for Rooney’s goal. He was here, there and everywhere.

Unlike Smalling, who can defend well as a covering right back but lacks piercing runs and accurate crosses, Rafael also add natural width going forward.

Midfield worries

Then there are the well-documented problems in the middle of the park. When United play Tom Cleverley alongside Michael Carrick in central midfield, the young Englishman is accused of lacking a box-to-box threat.

Marouane Fellaini seems to be taking that to that to the other extreme; he bombed forward too much today and when United lost the ball he was slow to recover. This leaves Carrick exposed, especially if there are several runners. Yaya Toure is sometimes guilty of the same sin but he offers much more going forward to more than make up for it.

There are some chronic problems like the urgency with which they move the ball. No doubt Moyes is working on but there are also a couple of areas they can improve on.

With more work, Mata’s lack of pace can be helped by Rafael’s urge to go forward. The main worry for Moyes should be Fellaini and getting him to find the right balance in his game.

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