An own goal from Kyle Walker ensured Manchester United opened the Premier League season with a 1-0 victory over Tottenham at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Right-back Walker stabbed into the back of his own net midway through the first half after a new-look United side had made a shaky start.
David de Gea watched on as Sergio Romero made his United debut, with Louis van Gaal stating that the Spain goalkeeper is not in the right frame of mind amid ongoing speculation over a move to Real Madrid.
New signing Romero produced an assured display – making a couple of fine, late saves – as Tottenham were unable to build on an encouraging start in which Christian Eriksen came close to opening the scoring.
Van Gaal must have seen plenty of room for improvement as he aims to turn United into title contenders this season, but will be more than happy with three points after losing at home to Swansea City on the opening day last year.
Romero, Matteo Darmian, Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay made their Premier League debuts for United, while Bastian Schweinsteiger was among the substitutes.
Michel Vorm started in goal for Tottenham, with Hugo Lloris on the bench, and Ben Davies got the nod at left-back in the absence of Danny Rose (thigh). Toby Alderweireld was the only new recruit named in Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Romero could have been picking the ball out of the back of the net just four minutes into his United bow, when Harry Kane and Eriksen linked up brilliantly to open up the home side’s defence.
Kane picked out Eriksen’s run into the penalty area with a clever chip and the Denmark midfielder headed in front of him before lifting a deft lob over Romero, but onto the roof of the net.
Romero was forced to race out once again soon after and save an effort from Walker when the right-back surged forward as Tottenham made an impressive start.
Walker had the ball in the back of the net 22 minutes in, but it was at the wrong end to gift United an undeserved lead out of the blue.
Ashley Young passed to an unmarked Wayne Rooney in the area, and as the United captain prepared to shoot, Walker nipped in but could only poke the ball beyond Vorm.
Germany captain Schweinsteiger was given a tremendous ovation when he replaced Michael Carrick on the hour-mark following an uneventful start to the second half.
Young, who this week signed a new contract, came close to doubling United’s lead when the ball arrived at the winger’s feet at the back post but Vorm got down to smother his shot.
The agile Romero twice kept out shots from Eriksen in the closing stages and also palmed away a Kane header as Tottenham applied late pressure, but were unable to salvage a point.
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