United keep the score­line af­ter Spurs’ Walker scores an while try­ing to head off Rooney

Own goal

CityPress - - Sport - – TeamTalk Media

Manch­ester United lifted the cur­tain on the new Premier League cam­paign in win­ning fash­ion as they ground out a 1-0 vic­tory over Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur at Old Traf­ford yesterday. Spurs full­back Kyle Walker was the un­for­tu­nate scorer of an own goal in the first half, and the score­line re­mained un­changed as United saw out the re­main­der of the match to claim all three points.

The Red Devils went into the Premier League opener mi­nus the ser­vices of goal­keeper David de Gea af­ter man­ager Louis van Gaal con­firmed the Spa­niard would be rested due to on­go­ing spec­u­la­tion link­ing the player with a move to Real Madrid.

As such, new sign­ing Ser­gio Romero made his de­but in goal for the Red Devils, with young­ster Sam John­stone handed a place on the bench.

As has of­ten been the case in the past, United started the match slug­gishly, with Spurs en­joy­ing plenty of pos­ses­sion early on.

Chris­tian Erik­sen had the first chance of the con­test, but was un­able to cap­i­talise as he fired a lofted ef­fort over the bar on five min­utes af­ter be­ing teed up by Harry Kane.

Kane and Spurs debu­tant Toby Alder­weireld both went close a few min­utes later, but the for­mer’s shot from out­side the box was de­flected be­hind be­fore the lat­ter saw his header from the re­sult­ing cor­ner kick kept out by the de­fence.

Spurs con­tin­ued to press for­ward and threat­ened again on 18 min­utes, with Walker’s sting­ing shot saved in the bot­tom-left cor­ner by Romero.

How­ever, Walker did his side no favours four min­utes later when he nipped in front of Wayne Rooney in an at­tempt to steal the ball off the striker’s feet as he pre­pared to pull the trig­ger. How­ever, Walker only suc­ceeded in di­rect­ing the ball past Michel Vorm and into the back of the net.

The goal gave the Red Devils a real lift as the pen­du­lum swung in the op­po­site di­rec­tion for the re­main­der of the first stanza.

Juan Mata and Mem­phis De­pay had goal-bound ef­forts blocked as the half wore on, while at the op­po­site end of the pitch, Alder­weireld’s shot from the edge of the area was com­fort­ably gath­ered by Romero on the stroke of half-time.

While the first half had of­fered up a fair amount of goal­mouth ac­tion, that was not the case af­ter the break.

De­pay fired over with an ef­fort from 27 me­tres out five min­utes into the sec­ond half as the tempo of the match slowed down.

United even­tu­ally opted to change things around on the hour mark, bring­ing on another new sign­ing in the shape of Bas­tian Sch­we­in­steiger, who took the place of Michael Car­rick.

Vorm was fi­nally called into ac­tion on 65 min­utes, get­ting down low to keep out Ash­ley Young’s right­footed ef­fort from the edge of the area.

De­pay was with­drawn from the ac­tion shortly there­after, with An­der Her­rera join­ing the fray, but other than Sch­we­in­steiger’s yel­low card on 69 min­utes, there was a real lack of note­wor­thy ac­tion.

Spurs, who went into this match af­ter a busy pre­sea­son sched­ule, were strug­gling to cre­ate clear-cut chances but had a glo­ri­ous op­por­tu­nity to draw level in the 84th minute. Alder­weireld found Erik­sen with a rak­ing cross only for Romero to save the Dane’s shot from a tight an­gle.

There was a late flurry of chances for the Li­ly­whites though, as Chris Smalling’s de­flected header was kept out by Romero be­fore Erik­sen saw his low shot snapped up by the Ar­gen­tinian in­ter­na­tional.

Look­ing ahead to to­day’s Premier League fix­tures, Steve McClaren of­fi­cially be­gins his New­cas­tle United ten­ure at home to Southamp­ton, while last sea­son’s third-placed fin­ish­ers, Ar­se­nal, lock horns with Slaven Bilić’s West Ham United at the Emi­rates.

In the day’s fi­nal fix­ture, Liver­pool will be aim­ing to avenge their hu­mil­i­at­ing de­feat at the hands of Stoke City on the fi­nal day of last sea­son when they re­new hos­til­i­ties with Mark Hughes’ side at the Bri­tan­nia Sta­dium.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.