- Walker’s own goal gives United win
- 5 players make United debuts
- De Gea watching on from the stands
- Eriksen has Spurs’ best chances
MANCHESTER — Louis van Gaal’s side started the season off with a win, as Manchester United beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 at Old Trafford on Saturday in the opening game of the new Premier League season.
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Kyle Walker’s bizarre first half own goal was the difference, as Spurs’ bright start faded but United labored to an opening day win.
Early on Spurs had a great chance to go ahead as Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane combined superbly on the edge of the box in the fifth minute but Eriksen’s delicate lob looped over Romero and onto the top of the net. So close to an early lead for the north London club.
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United struggled early on as Daley Blind and Chris Smalling looked unnerved by Eriksen and Kane, with Walker being denied by Romero bravely in the 17th minute. Against the run of play, United took the lead in the 22nd minute as Ashley Young raced down the right after Nabil Bentaleb was dispossessed then found Rooney unmarked in the box. United’s captain dallied on the ball, but as Walker rushed in to tackle Rooney, Spurs’ right back accidentally got a toe on the ball and sent it past his own goalkeeper Michel Vorm at a snails pace. 1-0 to United in the most unfortunate of circumstances for Spurs. That goal took the wind out of Spurs’ sails and Juan Mata dragged a shot just wide as United pushed for a second before half time.
In the second half Spurs struggled to get going even though Blind was guilty of some poor giveaways on the edge of his own bow. Ryan Mason came on to add drive to midfield but it was United who liked more likely to score as Memphis had a shot sail over and Young forced a good save from Vorm down low.
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Bastian Schweinsteiger made his United debut as a second half sub, becoming the first German to play for the Red Devils in the process, as the former Bayern Munich man was given a standing ovation from the home fans.
Late on Spurs brought on youngsters Delle Alli to try and break United’s stubborn defense down, but the Red Devils made some changes of their own to see out the game as Antonio Valencia replaced the impressive Matteo Darmian after the Italian international stood out on his debut.
Kane was shackled well by United’s defense, but late on Eriksen had a powerful drive pushed away from Romero as United’s new goalkeeper helped them seal three points on the opening day.