Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur: Walker own goal gifts Red Devils opening win
Picture source: Twitter

An unfortunate first-half own goal courtesy of Kyle Walker was enough for Louis van Gaal's men to top the 2015/16 Premier League table - at least for a few hours. 

On the opening day of the new campaign, Manchester United got proceedings underway for the second consecutive year at Old Trafford, after last year's disappointing 2-1 defeat at the hands of Swansea City

van Gaal's men start season off with a win

Fast forward twelve months, and the Red Devils have improved their squad significantly. The club's summer signings, all five of them, got a taste of the action in Manchester as Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham side travelled from north London in search of an encouraging start to the new campaign. 

Despite starting brightly, through inter-changing play between Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen, Spurs were unable to sustain a decent amount of pressure on United's goal, and invited their hosts to attack them at will. Something they should surely know by now, can be punished to devastating effect. 

Spurs falter after promising early exchanges

Memphis Depay and Ashley Young were often lively on either side of the pitch as they tried to make things happen - and Spurs' defence looked shaky at times, with Belgian centre-back Jan Vertonghen receiving an early booking for a cynical foul in his own half. Sergio Romero, who was preferred to David de Gea in-between the posts for United, was called into action on a number of occasions and was forced to work hard for his clean sheet - which was well deserved on a day of uncertainty for fans, with rumours continuing to run rampant over the Spaniard's future at Old Trafford with Real Madrid still pursuing him. The 24-year-old was watching on from the stands, and in van Gaal's pre-match press conference he'd confirmed that he would not play due to his mental state.

The deadlock was broken shortly after the 20th minute mark, with Walker accidentally flicking the ball past Michel Vorm into his own net. The move was well-worked from the hosts, with Young feeding the ball into captain Wayne Rooney in the area, but the Englishman's momentum ensured he'd prodded the ball off his compatriot and into goal.  

In the second-half, United started where they'd finished off. Although Tottenham were arguably lucky to go into the interval only one-goal behind, they did not show enough desire to want to get back into the match itself - only pressing for an equaliser when it was ultimately too late.

A standing ovation was observed on the hour mark as £14.4million pound signing Bastian Schweinsteiger was introduced in a like-for-like alteration for Michael Carrick, and although he did get booked on his Premier League debut, he did well to control the midfield with his impressive range of passing and leadership skills to organise the backline when in possession of the ball.

Chris Smalling was undoubtedly the Man of the Match for an all-round commanding performance, as the former Fulham centre-back was an imposing figure at the back and made a few important sliding tackles - not least to dispossess Nacer Chadli as he was advancing through on-goal. 

United travel to the west Midlands to face Aston Villa next Friday night, whilst Tottenham will be hoping for a better performance as they entertain Stoke City the following day next weekend. 

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