Saturday 8 August 2015

Match report: United 1-0 Tottenham

The Reds opened their Premier League season with a hard-fought win after surviving late Spurs pressure  at Old Trafford.

United triumphed through Kyle Walker's own goal- when the right-back poked into his own net under pressure from Wayne Rooney- and were comfortable for long periods before a late flurry from the visitors.

United handed debuts to five players, and were thankful for the impact of one of them- Argentine keeper Sergio Romero- whom produced two excellent late stops to preserve the three points. 

In a cagey affair of few clear cut chances, Spurs started well and went close through Christian Eriksen, who latched on to Harry Kane's through ball but could only lob the ball over from close range.

Kane had a shot blocked and Romero saved well from Walker, but the full-back made the decisive difference at the other end when he prodded past Michel Vorm under pressure from Rooney after Nabil Bentaleb had lost possession.

The opener sparked United into life with Mata hitting a free- kick into the wall after Memphis had a shot cleared following good work from Ashley Young.

Mata again went close for United before half-time and it was the hosts who carried the greater threat after the break, albeit sporadically.

Chris Smalling kept Kane in check when Spurs did break forward, whilst a good move down the right, instigated by the impressive Matteo Darmian, saw Rooney flash a speculative bicycle kick wide. 

Spurs came on strong as the match entered its closing minutes.

Smalling produced a brilliant lunging tackle to thwart Nacer Chadli, Romero saved well from Kane's header and then beat out Eriksen's powerful close range snapshot in a spell of late pressure from the visitors, but LVG's side held out to start the season with three welcome points. 

United Faithful Man of the Match: Matteo Darmian was very impressive, but Chris Smalling kept Kane quiet and repelled Spurs late charge with a series of brilliant blocks and interceptions. so we're giving it to 'Mike'. 

Overall team performance: 6.5/10

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