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Manchester United began their Premier League season with a nervy 1-0 win over Tottenham at Old Trafford.
United started slowly and Christian Eriksen almost put Spurs ahead inside five minutes when he broke through but chipped his effort over new goalkeeper Sergio Romero – starting in place of the dropped David De Gea – and also over the bar.
But, despite having the better of the opening exchanges, Spurs fell behind soon after as Ashley Young scampered free to cross for Wayne Rooney and the backtracking Kyle Walker diverted the ball into his own net.
It was the first time that a Premier League season had begun with an own goal, but there were no further additions before half-time and United went into the break ahead 1-0.
Young had a chance to double the lead just after the hour mark as Spurs failed to clear a cross and the winger cut inside to shoot, only to see Michel Vorm gather low down on his line.
Ander Herrera was brought on for new United No. 7 Memphis Depay – who looked furious to be taken off – and Louis van Gaal’s men continued to press without troubling the scorers again, while Spurs and Harry Kane in particular looked short of ideas.
Romero was forced into making two saves in the final few minutes, one from a deflected Kane header, the other from a powerful shot by Eriksen moments later, but United held on for all three points.
United were wearing a new kit, Old Trafford sported a new adidas logo in the stands and four new signings were named in the starting XI. But the hosts’ performance in the opening stages was very much reminiscent of the old United side who struggled at the start of last season.
Defensively, United looked rusty and despite playing two midweek friendlies in Germany, Spurs were full of energy early on.
Christian Eriksen brushed aside Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind, who was played at centre-half, to latch on to Kane’s chip, but the Dane lifted his shot over Romero on to the roof of the net.
Romero, like his defenders, looked tense on debut. The Argentinian, who joined United on a free transfer less than two weeks ago, caused a couple of hairy moments with sloppy passes early on, but then put a crucial block in on Walker.
A few minutes later, Walker was left red-faced as he put United ahead.
United countered through Juan Mata and Depay after Nabil Bentaleb’s mis-placed pass. The Dutchman found Young and he squared to Rooney. As the captain readied himself for the shot, Walker did the job for him, nudging the ball past Michel Vorm, who was deputising for the injured Hugo Lloris in the away goal.
United dominated for the rest of the first half, but could not double their lead despite efforts from Mata and the impressive Depay.
The game hit a lull after the break. Depay twisted and turned on the edge of the box before shooting over.
Romero calmly collected a dangerous free-kick from Eriksen, but otherwise Spurs looked toothless in attack. Kane, isolated on his own up front, barely had any time on the ball.
Bastian Schweinsteiger was given a huge reception when he came off the bench to make his first appearance for United, and soon entered the book for tripping Nacer Chadli.
Wayne Rooney tried – and failed – to score with an acrobatic effort 17 minutes from time and Young squirmed a low shot into Vorm’s arms as United pushed for a second.
In the dying stages Tottenham launched a series of attacks, but Romero saved their best effort from Eriksen and Van Gaal’s men held on to record a welcome home win.