MANCHESTER UNITED BEGIN EPL CAMPAIGN WITH A 1-0 WIN OVER SPURS


Manchester United held on to start their season with a lacklustre win against Tottenham thanks to Kyle Walker's early own goal.
After Christian Eriksen lobbed over when clean through, United went ahead as Walker poked into his own net when attempting to tackle Wayne Rooney.
That led to a better spell for United, who did not have a shot on target until Ashley Young's 65th-minute effort.
Sergio Romero saved Eriksen's late shot as one of five United debutants.


Louis van Gaal celebrated his 64th birthday with a victory but his team were hanging on towards the end as Romero was twice called into action.
Tottenham - who finished fifth in the Premier League last season, six points behind United - started and ended the game strongly only three days after completing their final pre-season game against AC Milan in Germany.

How did United's debutants perform?

Morgan Schneiderlin was the pick of United's new recruits, who cost a combined £83.1m over the summer.
The defensive midfielder lined up next to Michael Carrick and looked energetic and willing to accept possession deep in United's half despite a couple of nervous moments early on.
The £25m capture from Southampton was put under pressure by goalkeeper Romero, whose kicking lacked conviction after Spurs pressed the host's defence high up the pitch.
The Argentine international made his debut after replacing David De Gea, who boss Louis van Gaal said was "not capable" of playing amid ongoing speculation that the Spanish goalkeeper wants to join Real Madrid.
Morgan Schneiderlin
Morgan Schneiderlin was influential for United, often pressing the Tottenham midfield
Memphis Depay, a £31m arrival from PSV Eindhoven, played behind Wayne Rooney in attack, and while the Dutch 21-year-old did have an early shot blocked, he was frustrated by his 68th-minute substitution after a display where he looked like he needed further time to gel with team-mates.
At right-back Matteo Darmian was solid as a replacement for the departed Rafael Da Silva and showed purpose going forward. Bastian Schweinsteiger, who came on for Carrick after his £14.4m arrival from Bayern Munich, helped see the game out with some clever touches but was booked shortly after being introduced after an hour.

Harry Kane shows signs of promise

Despite a post-season tour to Australia and playing his part in the England Under-21s' ill-fated European Championship, Kane made a great start to the game after setting up Eriksen for their best chance after five minutes and looked dangerous during the first half.
A lack of support meant Spurs's top scorer last season faded as the game progressed and Chris Smalling began to boss the United defence in an impressive display.
But the 22-year-old did show promise after questions whether he could follow up last season's superb form.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino withdrew Nabil Bentaleb eight minutes into the second half after the 20-year-old midfielder lined up with Eric Dier in the centre of midfield and gave the ball away for the goal.
However, he will have been pleased by the overall performance of his team, with £12m debutant Toby Alderweireld looking strong next to fellow Belgian Jan Vertonghen in the centre of their defence.

'Depay too eager'

Van Gaal: "I said to Memphis that he doesn't have to play too eagerly and with too much passion and that counts for the whole team. But it's always the same - the first time you play at Old Trafford it's always difficult, but I liked the performance especially from Darmian."
Sprints at Old Trafford
Walker on his own goal: "I tried to stick my foot in the way so that [Rooney would] kick my foot instead of the ball, so it's a bit unlucky really as I'd made up a lot of ground to get there. We just look onwards and upwards to our next game."
Van Gaal on De Gea's future at Manchester United: "I'm not the most important part with De Gea. The most important part is the player and the club who wants to buy him. He's our best player for the past two or three years so we cannot let him go so easily. We want to sell at the same level as we pay. We want to keep him of course."
Manchester United's trio of omitted goalkeepers
Omitted goalkeepers Victor Valdes, David De Gea and Anders Lindegaard watch on

Pundit reaction

Former England winger Chris Waddle on BBC Radio 5 live: "I don't think either team we've watched looked like title contenders. We haven't seen the best of them. They look a little leggy. Tottenham need a bit of pace and with United I'm not sure about them in the centre-back position."

Man of the match

Chris Smalling: Offered a calmness and reassurance in defence while many debutants tried too hard to impress. He benefitted from the presence of Schneiderlin in front of him.

The stats you need to know

  • This is the first time a Premier League season's first goal has been an own goal.
  • Manchester United have kept a clean sheet on opening day for the first time since 2010 (3-0 v Newcastle).
  • United have lost just one of their last 24 opening league games of the season at Old Trafford (W17 D6).
  • Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs are yet to score against Manchester United in three meetings.
  • Manchester United have now won back-to-back Premier League games against Spurs, after a five game winless run (D3 L2).

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (6)

Manchester United

  • 20 Romero
  • 36 Darmian (A Valencia - 81' )
  • 12 Smalling
  • 17 Blind
  • 23 Shaw
  • 16 Carrick (Schweinsteiger - 60' Booked )
  • 28 Schneiderlin
  • 08 Mata Booked
  • 07 Depay (Herrera - 68' )
  • 18 Young
  • 10 Rooney

Substitutes

  • 14 Hernández
  • 21 Herrera
  • 25 A Valencia
  • 31 Schweinsteiger
  • 33 McNair
  • 44 Pereira
  • 50 Johnstone

Tottenham Hotspur

  • 13 Vorm
  • 02 Walker
  • 04 Alderweireld
  • 05 Vertonghen Booked
  • 33 Davies
  • 15 Dier Booked (Alli - 77' Booked )
  • 06 Bentaleb (Mason - 53' )
  • 19 Dembélé (Lamela - 68' )
  • 23 Eriksen
  • 22 Chadli
  • 10 Kane

Substitutes

  • 01 Lloris
  • 08 Mason
  • 11 Lamela
  • 16 Trippier
  • 20 Alli
  • 27 Wimmer
  • 28 Carroll
Ref: Jonathan Moss
Att: 75,261

Match Stats

Possession50%50%90minsManchester UnitedTottenham Hotspur

Shots

9 9

On target

1 4

Corners

1 2

Fouls

12 12

(Courtesy BBC sports)

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