Premier League
Man UtdManchester United1TottenhamTottenham Hotspur0

Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur

By Alistair MagowanBBC Sport
Kyle Walker scores an own goal to gift Manchester United the lead
Kyle Walker scores an own goal to gift Manchester United the lead

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 - one of five United debutants - saved a late Eriksen drive.

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?

Darmian has impressed me - Van Gaal

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 hosts' defence high up the pitch.

The Argentine international made his debut after replacing David De Gea, who boss 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.

Kane shows signs of promise

Tottenham dominated game - Pochettino

Despite a gruelling summer in which he went on Spurs' post-season tour to Australia and played in the England Under-21s' ill-fated European Championship campaign, Kane looked sharp in the first half.

He made a great start to the game, setting up Eriksen for his side's best chance after five minutes, but a lack of support meant Spurs's top scorer from last season faded 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 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'

Manchester United manager Louis 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

Tottenahm defender Kyle 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."

Van Gaal on David De Gea's future at Manchester United: "I'm not the most important part. 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 Morgan 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)


Man Utd

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 20Romero
  • 36DarmianSubstituted forA Valenciaat 81'minutes
  • 12Smalling
  • 17Blind
  • 23Shaw
  • 16CarrickSubstituted forSchweinsteigerat 60'minutesBooked at 69mins
  • 28Schneiderlin
  • 8MataBooked at 90mins
  • 7DepaySubstituted forHerreraat 68'minutes
  • 18Young
  • 10Rooney


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


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Vorm
  • 2Walker
  • 4Alderweireld
  • 5VertonghenBooked at 27mins
  • 33Davies
  • 15DierBooked at 76minsSubstituted forAlliat 77'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 6BentalebSubstituted forMasonat 53'minutes
  • 19DembéléSubstituted forLamelaat 68'minutes
  • 23Eriksen
  • 22Chadli
  • 10Kane


  • 1Lloris
  • 8Mason
  • 11Lamela
  • 16Trippier
  • 20Alli
  • 27Wimmer
  • 28Carroll
Jonathan Moss

Match Stats

Home TeamMan UtdAway TeamTottenham
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester United 1, Tottenham Hotspur 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Manchester United 1, Tottenham Hotspur 0.

  3. Post update

    Offside, Manchester United. Luke Shaw tries a through ball, but Wayne Rooney is caught offside.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United).

  5. Post update

    Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Booking

    Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  7. Post update

    Ashley Young (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur).

  9. Booking

    Juan Mata (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Juan Mata (Manchester United).

  11. Post update

    Ryan Mason (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  12. Post update

    Morgan Schneiderlin (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur).

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Christian Eriksen with a cross.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Ander Herrera (Manchester United).

  17. Post update

    Ryan Mason (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Morgan Schneiderlin (Manchester United).

  19. Post update

    Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Attempt saved. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Toby Alderweireld.