Five reasons why Manchester United fans should not panic

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Football News

Manchester United were completely dominated by rivals City at the weekend, but Old Trafford fans should not panic.

There are plenty of reasons why David Moyes can still win the Premier League title in his first season in charge - not least because the defending champions only have to play the Citizens once more this term!

Here are five - and have your say at the bottom on whether you think they're convincing or not...

5. Moyes is still searching for his strongest XI

One look at the team-sheet on Sunday, and it was clear to most onlookers that Moyes had not picked his strongest XI. Many argue he got it wrong tactically, and the team selection did look a little conservative.

But the 4-1 defeat was a harsh, but much needed lesson for the United boss. Ashley Young should now only see the starting lineup in League Cup games, similarly Antonio Valencia's mini-revival ended on Sunday.

The Ecuadorian is often cited as a defensive winger, but he couldn't even fulfil that role effectively against Kolarov. He's been average for too long. Nani and Shinji Kagawa are better options. And Wilfried Zaha is at least worthy of a place on the bench. He may be infuriating at times, but he'll make more of an impact than Young.

They'll likely get a chance against Liverpool in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday - in the future it needs to be the other way around.

Injuries have been a factor as well - Robin van Persie was missing, and Chris Smalling highlighted just how important Rafael is to United's shape.

The talented England youngster is just too limited going forward to offer anything in the big games - what else do you expect from a centre-back playing full-back - and Rafael's return cannot come soon enough.

Manuel Pellegrini, in contrast, was only missing Gael Clichy. It was always going to take time for Moyes, but a United first-choice XI would have put up a much better fight.

4. Marouane Fellaini showed glimpses

The Belgian international was much better when moved slightly further forward. That's no surprise - he scored 11 goals for Everton in that position last term.

But when Van Persie's fit, that's Wayne Rooney's remit so Fellaini will have to get used to a central midfield role.

Luckily, that's his preferred position, and his partnership with Michael Carrick showed promise in patches. It's difficult to build a rapport against one of the most dominant central midfields in the country, and United were overrun at times.

But Fellaini and Carrick has a nice balance to it, and the Belgian international had a decent game in the middle of the pitch. He'll only improve from here.

He had more passes overall, more in the opposition half and a better pass accuracy than counter-part Yaya Toure. That's not say Fellaini had a better game - Toure was much more effective in possession, carving out several goalscoring chances for his side.

But central midfield no longer seems to be the problem for Moyes.

3. Wayne Rooney looks back to his best

Wayne Rooney was the only United player to emerge from the game with any credit. He looked fully fit and match sharp, despite the injury lay-off, scored another great free-kick and was involved in all of United's best attacking moves.

Had van Persie been playing the result may have been the same, but it's hard to imagine the scoreline would have been quite so comprehensive.

Especially considering how Rooney and van Persie dismantled City at the Etihad Stadium last term.

2. We're just five league games in - and it looks wide open

The season is just five games old. Every team other than Everton has lost at least once. At the start of the campaign many said it was the most open in years, and it looks that way.

City have lost to Cardiff, United have lost to Liverpool and City, Chelsea went down to Everton, and Arsenal were comprehensively beaten at home by Aston Villa. Wide open, then.

There is absolutely no need to panic - consider United lost 6-1 at home two seasons ago under Sir Alex Ferguson and still should have won the league. OK, they didn't, but considering the position they got themselves in with eight games to go, they should have.

1. January transfer window

United were all over the place on transfer deadline day, making bids for the likes of Ander Herrera and Sami Khedira.

You have to imagine the cash is there then for a big-money move in the January transfer window. Assuming van Persie and Rooney are fully fit, with Carrick and Fellaini in the middle and Vidic and Ferdinand at the back, United have the spine of a title-winning team.

Add a top target in January and United's squad will look every bit as strong as their Premier League rivals.

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