Jonny Evans: SIGNS FOR WEST BROM


Jonny Evans has completed his transfer from Manchester United to West Bromwich Albion for an undisclosed fee.

The Northern Ireland defender is a product of the Reds' Academy system and made 179 first-team starts, plus another 19 appearances as substitute, and scored seven goals. He won six major honours with United - three Premier League titles, two League Cups and the Club World Cup.

Prior to his departure, Evans was the second longest-serving player at Old Trafford behind Wayne Rooney, having made his debut in September 2007 against Coventry City in a home League Cup tie. His last competitive appearance for United was as a substitute in the 2-1 away win over Crystal Palace in May.

The centre-back, who has signed a four-year contract at The Hawthorns, will find familiar faces there in fellow ex-United players Darren Fletcher, Ben Foster and another recent arrival James Chester. Also, he plays international football with two of his new West Brom colleagues - Chris Brunt and Gareth McAuley.

Evans told West Brom's official website: "It's a new, fresh challenge for me and one I'm looking forward to. I know a few of the lads already and I spoke to a couple, who highly recommended the club."

His new manager Tony Pulis said: "This is a great signing for the club. Jonny brings a lot of experience and will be a big player for us - he's a player I've been watching for some time. We are delighted to have him on board."

Everybody at Manchester United would like to wish Jonny the very best of luck for the future.

*Taken from Manutd.com

UEFA Champions League: Group stage draw


The UEFA Champions League group stage is set following the draw in Monaco on Thursday.

Chelsea manager José Mourinho will return to Porto, with whom he won the UEFA Champions League in 2004, while Paris Saint-Germain are up against Real Madrid in Group A. In Group D, meanwhile, last season's runners-up Juventus will face Manchester City as well as 2014/15 UEFA Europa League winners Sevilla. The holders, Barcelona, take on Bayer Leverkusen, Roma and BATE Borisov.

FULL FIXTURE LIST

2015/16 UEFA Champions League group stage draw
Group A: Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Malmö

Group B: PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, CSKA Moskva, Wolfsburg

Group C: Benfica, Atlético, Galatasaray, Astana

Group D: Juventus, Manchester City, Sevilla, Borussia Mönchengladbach

Group E: Barcelona, Bayer Leverkusen, Roma, BATE Borisov

Group F: Bayern München, Arsenal, Olympiacos, Dinamo Zagreb

Group G: Chelsea, Porto, Dynamo Kyiv, Maccabi Tel-Aviv

Group H: Zenit, Valencia, Lyon, Gent

Group stage dates
Matchday one: 15–16/09/14
Matchday two: 29–30/09/14
Matchday three: 20–21/10/14
Matchday four: 03–04/11/14
Matchday five: 24–25/11/14
Matchday six: 08–09/12/14

*Taken from uefa.com

2014/2015 CL Qualification: Club Brugge 0-4 Manchester United (1-7 Aggregate)


Scorers: Rooney 22', 49', 57', Herrera 63' |  26 August 2015 | Jan Breydel Stadium

Manchester United will be among the names in the UEFA Champions League group-stage draw after sealing a 4-0 win on the night and a 7-1 aggregate victory against Club Brugge.

Wayne Rooney answered his doubters in the press by scoring a clinical hat-trick in Belgium before Ander Herrera notched his first goal of the season with another neat finish. The play-off result means Louis van Gaal, the players and supporters can now look forward to returning to Europe’s top table and a competition that has been synonymous with the club since the reign of Sir Matt Busby.

Louis van Gaal made two changes to his team by recalling Michael Carrick in place of Bastian Schweinsteiger and starting Herrera for the first time this season. Both men utilised their passing abilities in the opening exchanges as the Reds controlled possession on a pitch that had been heavily rained upon in Bruges, where the weather was almost biblical leading up to the match.

Despite United’s positive start at the Jan Breydel Stadium, named after a local butcher who led a 13th-century uprising, it was the hosts who created the first chance when Luke Shaw blocked Tom De Sutter’s low volley at the back post, an effort that was more than enough to cheer a home crowd that had provocatively sang along to Liverpool anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone before kick-off.

The Reds quickly silenced the home supporters, though, by breaking the deadlock on 20 minutes as Memphis Depay, United's star in the first leg, produced another moment of individual brilliance by dribbling in from the left wing and cutting a neat pass inside for Rooney, who calmly chipped a neat shot over the goalkeeper to score his first goal of the season from around eight-yards.

Rooney’s opener meant Brugge could only progress in normal time with a 4-1 victory and, although their hopes were bleak, the home side showed tremendous spirit and almost levelled when De Sutter forced a smart stop from Sergio Romero on 40 minutes, before the Argentinian goalkeeper brilliantly clawed the ball away from the feet of Boli Bolingoli when he was played in moments later. Memphis also had two efforts deflected wide to cap an intriguing first half in Belgium.

HALF-TIME STATISTICS
Possession: Club Brugge 38% United 62%
Shots: Club Brugge 5 United 11
Shots on target: Club Brugge 1 United 2
Corners: Club Brugge 1 United 2

The second half began with Schweinsteiger replacing Januzaj in midfield and the former Champions League winner with Bayern Munich quickly slotted in alongside Carrick, perhaps with a view to regaining total control of the tie. Van Gaal’s substitution paid immediate dividends as United capitalised on a misplaced pass from Brugge to swiftly score on the counter, as a more advanced Herrera slipped a neat pass inside for Rooney to bag his second goal with the simplest of finishes.

It was a disheartening restart for the home team and things went from bad to worse for them when the captain claimed his hat-trick just minutes later, by beating the offside trap and latching onto Mata’s intricate pass to slot a low finish underneath the goalkeeper. It was his 36th goal in European competitions and only Ruud van Nistelrooy has netted more for the club, with 38 to his name.

United were running amok by this point and the Reds were cutting through the Brugge defence like a hot knife through butter, which led to Herrera scoring a fourth with a neat composed finished from Schweinsteiger’s excellent through-ball. The Spaniard then exited to an ovation from the travelling Reds as Javier Hernandez entered the fray, hoping to add his own name to the scoresheet.

Although Brugge hit the crossbar with an powerful volley from Tuur Dierckx, this play-off tie was over midway through the second half and the Reds should have scored a fifth from the penalty spot on 80 minutes, when substitute Javier Hernandez slipped and shot wide after Oscar Duarte was somewhat harshly penalised for handball by the referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz, a Spanish PE teacher.

Chicharito squandered another excellent opportunity to open his account in the 90th minute when knocking over Ashley Young's in-swinging cross, but the Mexican's miss did little to dampen United's spirits following an extremely beneficial night in Bruges. All eyes are now on Thursday's group stage draw in Monaco.

FULL-TIME STATISTICS
Possession: Club Brugge 34% United 66%
Shots: Club Brugge 9 United 22
Shots on target: Club Brugge 1 United 7
Corners: Club Brugge 2 United 4

THE TEAMS
Club Brugge: Bolat, De Fauw, Castelletto, Duarte, De Bock, Vormer, Claudemir, Vazquez (Vanaken 62'), Diaby (Dierckx 63'), De Sutter, Bolingoli.
Subs not used: Bruzese, Meunier, Cools, De Smul, Oulare.
Booked: Claudemir, Vormer

United: Romero; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Shaw; Carrick, Herrera (Hernandez 64'); Mata (Young 62'), Januzaj (Schweinsteiger 45'), Memphis; Rooney.
Subs not used: Johnstone, McNair, Schneiderlin, Fellaini.
Booked: Herrera

POTENTIAL GROUP STAGE OPPONENTS
United will be in Pot 2 on Thursday and will be drawn against one team from Pot 1, which includes big guns Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, FC Porto, Arsenal, Manchester City, Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen. Read our detailed guide to learn who else the Reds can face.

MATCH REACTION
Van Gaal: "Every goal shall give confidence to every player and to Wayne. I am very happy for him... He has the best mentality that you can imagine. Such players of that level shall always come back."

Rooney: "I know my qualities and what I bring to the team; even if the goals don’t go in, I still bring a lot for my team-mates. Thankfully, I’ve got chances tonight and taken them, but I wasn’t worried."

Herrera: "It’s very important for a midfielder to score and help the team. My goal is not the most important thing - it is that we’re in the draw and we can bring Manchester United to where we deserve."

MAN OF THE MATCH
Somewhat unsurprisingly, Rooney later claimed our official Man of the Match award after taking 80 per cent of votes cast on Twitter. Herrera finished in second place while Memphis came third. Well played lads!

PLAYERS ON TWITTER
@ChrisSmalling: Looking forward to the @ChampionsLeague draw tomorrow.
@LukeShaw23: Back where we belong, great hat-trick from @WayneRooney tonight! Thanks to the travelling fans, unreal like always."
@AnderHerrera: Looking forward to the draw, we are now where this club deserves to be. Very happy!
@JuanMata8: Back in the #ChampionsLeague! Happy for @WayneRooney and @AnderHerrera.
@Youngy18: Great performance, important we are in the draw. Special mention for @WayneRooney!

*Taken from Manutd.com

2014/2015 BPL 03: Manchester United 0-0 Newcastle United


Manchester United were forced to settle for a point as Louis van Gaal's former Dutch goalkeeper Tim Krul left his old manager frustrated and earned Newcastle United a goalless draw at Old Trafford.

Krul made a host of top saves, including a brilliant one to deny Juan Mata in the first period and an even better one after the break to prevent substitute Javier Hernandez from snatching a winner.

Van Gaal made just one change to the side that began the 3-1 Champions League play-off win over Club Brugge with Bastian Schweinsteiger starting his first competitive match for the Reds since his summer move, in place of Michael Carrick.

Newcastle, who arrived in M16 with just one point to their name for the season and on a run of seven consecutive defeats on the road across the end of last term and start of this, were on the back foot almost straight away and were lucky not to be a goal down after four minutes when Wayne Rooney had the ball in the net, but was flagged offside despite replays suggesting otherwise.

Rooney took aim soon afterwards, following nice combination play with Schweinsteiger, but his low drive was claimed by Krul. The Newcastle goalkeeper was also on hand to save Mata’s free-kick on 12 minutes and he denied the Spaniard again a few minutes later as he clawed his shot away low to his left. Rooney was next to have a go as the wave of United attacks continued but Krul was there once more.

Having barely been in the match, the visitors went within inches of going ahead when Aleksandar Mitrovic rose to send a superb header on to the United bar with Sergio Romero well beaten. At the other end, Memphis Depay found himself through on goal, but his touch around Krul took him too wide and the Magpies cleared the danger.

Thereafter, clear-cut chances were few and far between, despite both sides looking dangerous around the box.

HALF-TIME STATISTICS
Possession: United 60% Newcastle 40%
Shots: United 9 Newcastle 6
Shots on target: United 6 Newcastle 0
Corners: United 3 Newcastle 3

The second half began in the much the same fashion the first had finished. Carrick came on for Schweinsteiger just before the hour mark, while Chicharito replaced Januzaj soon after, as the Reds looked to turn up the heat on Steve McClaren’s men.

Chris Smalling was unlucky not to connect with a corner when he had an opening, while a Rooney effort was blocked and a Mata volley flew over. Schneiderlin’s lovely backheel put Shaw through after the full-back cut in from the left wing, but Krul was there to block his shot.

Krul, who had famously been van Gaal’s penalty hero during last year’s World Cup, continued to thwart the Reds, with the best save of the lot coming when Mata’s shot rebounded to put Chicharito through on goal, but an outstretched leg from the Dutch stopper kept the score goalless.

As the clock ticked down to 90 minutes, Fabricio Coloccini blocked a goalbound Antonio Valencia shot and a crazy end to the game almost saw both sides win it when Smalling's header from Memphis' corner hit a post, before Newcastle went straight up the other end and substitute Florian Thauvin went within inches of turning home a cross from close range.

Carrick's deflected shot in the dying seconds looked to be flying in, but it wasn't to be for United who had to make do with one point rather than the three which were deserved.

FULL-TIME STATISTICS
Possession: United 70 Newcastle 30
Shots: United 20 Newcastle 7
Shots on target: United 8 Newcastle 0
Corners: United 11 Newcastle 5

MATCH DETAILS

United: Romero; Darmian (Valencia 77), Smalling, Blind, Shaw; Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger (Carrick 59); Mata, Januzaj (Chicharito 67), Memphis; Rooney.
Subs not used: Johnstone, McNair, Herrera, Young.
Booked: Darmian, Shaw

Newcastle United: Krul, Mbemba, Taylor, Coloccini, Haidara, Anita, Colback, Perez (Tiote 78), Wijnaldum, Obertan (Thauvin 69), Mitrovic (Cisse 88).
Subs not used: Darlow, De Jong, Aarons, Williamson.
Booked: Haidara, Obertan

*Taken from Manutd.com

20142015 CL Qualification: Manchester United 3-1 Club Brugge


Scorers: Carrick OG 8, Memphis 13, 43, Fellaini 90 | 18 August 2015 | Old Trafford | Att: 75,312

Memphis Depay scored twice and notched an assist for Marouane Fellaini during a magnificent performance to help Manchester United secure an important 3-1 first-leg victory over Club Brugge in the UEFA Champions League play-off.

Although Louis van Gaal will be disappointed to have conceded a potentially disruptive away goal, via an unfortunate deflection off Michael Carrick, this night belonged to Memphis and a summer signing who looks set to enjoy the adulation of Reds supporters following a mesmeric display.

United could have taken a lead in the very first minute after Juan Mata released Adnan Januzaj on the right with a carefully lofted pass, which allowed the Belgian to run at his marker before hitting a cross that almost found the lurking Wayne Rooney inside the Brugge penalty area. Memphis then hit a deflected shot at goal to round off a slightly frantic opening five minutes at Old Trafford.

Despite the Reds’ energetic start, the visitors took a shock lead in the 8th minute and in the cruellest of circumstances. Victor Vasquez, who was praised by van Gaal before kick-off, hit a 25-yard free-kick that cannoned off Januzaj in the wall before Carrick diverted the ball past a helpless Sergio Romero. Crucially, it gives Brugge an important away goal to take home to Belgium.

United responded brilliantly and almost instantly restored parity with a moment of individual brilliance from Memphis, who expertly controlled Carrick’s powerful pass, knocked the ball over his marker, dribbled at the defence and smashed home a low finish in front of a jubilant home crowd. It was the Dutchman’s first competitive goal for the club, and it could yet be of great significance.

The former PSV Eindhoven forward saw another deflected effort bounce wide on 25 minutes and, fresh from receiving a round of applause from the fans, his resulting corner led to Rooney hitting an acrobatic volley just off target. Januzaj was then played through on goal via a sumptuous pass from Mata, though the no.11 was shepherded away from a scoring opportunity by a Brugge defender.

The travelling fans in the away end were unrelenting but they were temporarily silenced on 42 minutes after Memphis cut inside from his position on the left wing to curl a sensational effort into the far corner, before celebrating in front of the United fans who undoubtedly have a new no.7 to worship.

HALF-TIME STATISTICS
Possession: United 66% Club Brugge 34%
Shots: United 7 Club Brugge 1
Shots on target: United 4 Club Brugge
Corners: United 3 Club Brugge 1

The second half began with Bastian Schweinsteiger replacing Carrick in midfield, but United were not affected by the change as Mata almost instantly stung the palms of the goalkeeper with a low shot from the edge of the penalty area. Star man Memphis shot wide moments later, before unleashing yet another long-range effort as he continued to torment Brugge.

There was a moment of slight controversy on the hour mark, at least from a Belgian point of view, when substitute Obbi Oulare latched onto a weak back-pass from Matteo Darmian to force Romero into a poor clearance, which was then knocked into United’s goal by Brugge. However, German referee Deniz Aytekin had pulled play back for an apparent foul on United’s Argentinian goalkeeper.

Memphis could, and perhaps, should have sealed his hat-trick soon afterwards when he blazed over the bar from close range. Javier Hernandez later replaced Januzaj on 71 minutes to make his first appearance of the season and the Mexican’s arrival was greeted by an ovation from the fans.

Brugge were reduced to 10 men after Mechele received two yellow cards in quick succession, with the second coming after a badly-timed challenge on Chicharito, and the Belgians subsequently dropped deeper into their own half as United chased a third goal. After applying pressure, the Reds eventually found a breakthrough as substitute Marouane Fellaini rose to head Memphis' cross home in added time, wrapping up an important 3-1 victory ahead of next Wednesday's second leg.

FULL-TIME STATISTICS
Possession: United 69% Club Brugge 31%
Shots: United 19 Club Brugge 1
Shots on target: United 8 Club Brugge 1
Corners: United 10 Club Brugge 1

MATCH DETAILS

United: Romero, Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Shaw, Carrick (Schweinsteiger 45'), Schneiderlin, Mata, Januzaj (Chicharito 72'), Memphis, Rooney (Fellaini 84').
Subs not used: Johnstone, Valencia, Herrera, Young.
Booked: Darmian

Club Brugge: Bruzzese, Cools, Mechele, Duarte, De Bock, Vormer, Simons (Claudemir 40'), Vazquez (Vanaken 78'), Dierckx, Diaby (Oulare 55'), Bolingoli-Mbombo.
Subs not used: Bolat, De Fauw, Castelletto, De Sutter.
Booked: Bolingoli-Mbombo, Mechele, Vormer
Sent off: Mechele


Louis van Gaal: "I have confidence in [Memphis] and tonight he scored two goals and the assist for the third goal was a fantastic cross from him, so I am very happy.”

Memphis Depay: “I ended last season with a lot of goals. If you come to a big club you have to score and do the job again and it’s a nice feeling to score at Old Trafford, my first two goals.”

Marouane Fellaini: “It was important to score a third goal and we did, so that’s fantastic. It’s a win but now we have to be careful in Bruges. Normally it would be not easy, but we have the quality to win there as well."

Man of the Match: Memphis Depay
Who else could it have been? The Dutchman was undoubtedly the best player on the pitch and, as such, he earned 82 per cent of votes cast by followers of @ManUtd on Twitter. Chris Smalling was second with 11 per cent, while Luke Shaw earned seven per cent.

PLAYERS ON TWITTER

Memphis @Memphis
Great feeling to slay my first giant with @ManUtd. Time for the next one.

Bastian Schweinsteiger @BSchweinsteiger
Great win and a very important goal by @Fellaini! We put ourselves into a good position for the second leg! #mufc

Marouane Fellaini @Fellaini
Great team performance tonight – happy to be back on score sheet.

Adnan Januzaj @adnanjanuzaj
Good result tonight! We needed that win! #UCL #mufc

Ashley Young @youngy18
Vital late goal from The Big Man @Fellaini and congrats to @Memphis, not a bad way to get your first United goals #mufc

*Taken from Manutd.com

2014/2015 BPL 02: Aston Villa 0-1 Manchester United


Scorer: Januzaj (29') | 14 August 2015 | Villa Park | Attendance: 42,200

Adnan Januzaj justified his recall to Louis van Gaal’s starting XI on Friday by scoring the only goal in Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Aston Villa in the Barclays Premier League.

The Reds are now unbeaten in 20 top-flight matches at Villa Park in a run that stretches back to September 1996. The victory also means United have tallied six points from six available following two tricky opening fixtures, five points more than the total registered at this stage of the last campaign.

The match was notably moved to Friday night due to a heavily-policed event in Birmingham on Saturday and, although many fans were late to the stadium following traffic issues, most supporters at Villa Park appeared to enjoy the novelty of the change in schedule judging by the raucous atmosphere.

Van Gaal made just one change to his starting XI by selecting Januzaj in place of Ashley Young, with the Belgian forward playing in the hole behind Wayne Rooney, while new signing Memphis Depay performed out wide on the left, a position in which he excelled for PSV Eindhoven.

United created the first chance on 15 minutes as Memphis hit an inswinging free-kick that evaded all Villa defenders and bounced towards Morgan Schneiderlin at the back post, where the French midfielder shaped his body to glance an awkward header wide of Brad Guzan’s goal.

The Villa goalkeeper was called into action again moments later as he beat Memphis to an important 50/50 challenge. The Dutchman was active throughout the first half and created another opportunity for himself on 22 minutes when he drifted inside from the left wing to exchange passes with Rooney before hitting a deflected shot wide of goal.

United dominated possession in the opening half an hour and deservedly broke the deadlock from an excellent passing move. It began with Januzaj switching the ball to the left and ended with the recalled Belgian latching onto Juan Mata’s through-ball to calmly round Micah Richards and slot a deflected finish into the bottom corner, vindicating the manager’s decision to start him at Villa Park. It was Adnan’s first competitive goal since the 4-0 win over Newcastle on 5 April 2014.

Neither manager made half-time changes but Villa played with much more urgency after the break and could have levelled when Jordan Ayew pounced on an unusually wayward pass from Mata and wastefully blasted a shot high over Romero’s goal. The Argentinian goalkeeper was then forced into his first real save on 55 minutes as he impressively grasped both hands around Gabriel Agbonlahor’s powerful header.

With Villa in the ascendancy and the home fans in fine voice, Tim Sherwood intervened and sent Rudy Gestede onto the pitch in place of former Manchester City midfielder Scott Sinclair. Van Gaal also made two changes on the hour as Ander Herrera and Bastian Schweinsteiger came on for Januzaj and Carrick, perhaps with a view to regaining control of an increasingly frantic match.

Memphis could, and perhaps should, have scored his first competitive goal for the club when he was put through by another delightfully accurate Mata pass, but the Dutch forward’s first-time shot flew just wide of Guzan’s left post before Ashley Young took his place on 82 minutes to the familiar sound of boos he receives at Villa Park, his old stomping ground.

In the end, despite Villa’s late push for an equaliser, United held on to another relatively straightforward win that will boost the players' confidence ahead of Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League play-off match against Club Brugge, an occasion that is of great importance to the club this season.

MATCH DETAILS

Aston Villa: Guzan, Bacuna, Richards, Clark, Amavi, Veretout (Sanchez 77'), Gueye, Westwood, J.Ayew, Agbonlahor, Sinclair (Gestede 59'). Subs: Baker, Richardson, Hutton, Sanchez, Kozak, Bunn.
Booked: Ayew, Gueye

United: Romero, Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Shaw, Carrick (Schweinsteiger 60'), Schneiderlin, Mata, Januzaj (Herrera 60'), Memphis (Young 82'), Rooney: Subs: Johnstone, McNair, Chicharito, Valencia.
Booked: Herrera, Darmian

Match Reaction
Louis van Gaal: “I am very happy that we won. We started the competition with a win at home and a win away. I think the key for this season is to win more away games and I think we are capable of doing that.”

Adnan Januzaj: “It felt good to get the goal because I've not had a game for a long time and my fitness is not so good, so I'm happy to score the winner for the team. I hope to have more games and score more goals.”

Daley Blind: “It was a real team performance, especially off the ball. We created some chances and could have scored more, but we didn’t give anything away and won 1-0. Three points are the most important thing, so again I’m happy with the team."

Man of the Match: Juan Mata
That sumptuous pass to play in Januzaj for the goal was classic Mata: vision and precision. That's why he collected 50 per cent of fans' votes on Twitter, ahead of the again impressive Chris Smalling (29%) and match-winner Januzaj (21%).

Three Match Facts
1. It's now 20 games unbeaten in the league at Aston Villa. We just love visiting Villa Park!
2. United are top of the league – again. But as Juan Mata says: "At this stage it means nothing."
3. It's only the second time under Louis van Gaal that United have kept back-to-back clean sheets and won – we did it against Sunderland and Newcastle earlier in 2015.

PLAYERS ON TWITTER

Ashley Young @youngy18
Good team effort for the win and clean sheet. Thanks to all the fans that came, I know the traffic coming down made it a long trip!

Juan Mata @juanmata8
Coming back to Manchester with three points! Good way to celebrate your birthday @AnderHerrera

Bastian Schweinsteiger @BSchweinsteiger
Second game, second victory. Come on, Red Devils! #mufc

Matteo Darmian @DarmianOfficial
Going back to Manchester with another victory! Really appreciate a huge support of #mufc fans!!

Memphis Depay @Memphis
2 games 2 wins thanks for the support #mufc supporters. Looking forward to Tuesday!

*Taken from Manutd.com

2014/2015 BPL 01: Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur


Scorer: Walker (own goal, 22) | 8 August 2015 | Old Trafford | Attendance: 75,261

Manchester United kicked off the 2015/16 Barclays Premier League with a narrow 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur thanks to a 22nd-minute own goal by Kyle Walker. The Reds were grateful to debutant goalkeeper Sergio Romero for preserving the slender advantage as the visitors showed few signs of tiredness after their midweek friendly exertions in Germany.

The heat seemed to play a part as the two sides produced a cagey affair featuring few clear-cut chances. Spurs made the better start with Christian Eriksen latching onto Harry Kane’s lofted through ball after Juan Mata was dispossessed. The Dane used his head to control the ball but scooped his lob onto the top of the net as the Stretford End held its breath behind the goal.

Kane saw a shot deflect wide and Romero was out smartly to block Walker but the Spurs full-back was to have a greater impact at the other end. Nabil Bentaleb’s stray pass launched a rapid counter-attack with Mata and Memphis Depay involved but, as Ashley Young’s centre rolled towards Wayne Rooney, Walker beat the Reds skipper to the ball and prodded it past the helpless Michel Vorm.

The opener sparked United into life with Mata hitting a free-kick into the wall and Memphis having a shot cleared following some wing magic by Young. Although Mata also fired off target when the ball bounced back to him on the edge of the area, Spurs had the final attempt of the half as Toby Alderweireld’s effort was well held by Romero.

It was United who carried the greater threat after the interval, albeit sporadically, with Chris Smalling keeping Kane in check whenever the visitors sprung forward. Memphis collected a Young pass but was too high with his shot while Vorm made a rare save to keep out Young's attempt on the line when a Rooney cross came all the way to the back post.

A better move, instigated down the right, led to the impressive Matteo Darmian crossing for Rooney but the striker's overhead kick lacked direction. Rooney also drifted a free-kick over the bar as the hosts struggled to kill the game off.

Smalling produced a marvellous tackle to thwart Nacer Chadli and Romero had to pull off a fine save to frustrate Eriksen as the Londoners mounted some late pressure. Romero stopped Kane's header, almost in slow motion, and then beat out a powerful drive as Eriksen hammered goalwards. However, Louis van Gaal's men held out to start the campaign with three welcome points.

United: Romero; Darmian (Valencia 80), Smalling, Blind, Shaw; Carrick (Schweinsteiger 60), Memphis (Herrera 68), Schneiderlin; Mata, Rooney, Young. Subs: Johnstone, McNair, Pereira, Hernandez.

Tottenham: Vorm; Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Bentaleb (Mason 53), Dier (Alli 78), Chadli, Eriksen, Dembele (Lamela 68); Kane. Subs: Lloris, Trippier, Wimmer, Carroll.

*Taken from Manutd.com

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