Walker own goal gifts Manchester United win in Premier League opener

Reuters , Saturday 8 Aug 2015

Manchester United
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, right, celebrates with teammate Memphis Depay after an own goal by Tottenham's Kyle Walker, right, during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Tottenham at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015 (Photo: AP)

The Premier League kicked off in unique fashion on Saturday as an own goal by Tottenham Hotspur's Kyle Walker gave Manchester United a 1-0 victory in an undistinguished season opener at Old Trafford.

Never before had English football's top flight competition begun with a player putting past his own keeper until full back Walker inadvertently prodded the ball past Michel Vorm in the 22nd minute when desperately trying to dispossess Wayne Rooney.

Tottenham had dominated until then but the goal helped United, with five expensive debutants in their ranks, relax as the Londoners' verve deserted them until a late attacking flurry was repelled by the hosts' new Argentine keeper Sergio Romero.

Even if the fare was mediocre, three points on a warm, muggy lunchtime was the ideal start for manager Louis van Gaal after a huge close season investment took United's spending to about 230 million pounds ($356.39 million) in his 12 months at the helm.

Romero made three important late saves while Italian defender Matteo Darmian, French midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin and Dutch striker Memphis Depay also made useful first starts, with United's Germany World Cup-winner Bastian Schweinsteiger coming on for the last half-hour and getting booked.

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