Pressure off Manchester United with opening win over Tottenham

Kyle Walker's own goal gave Manchester United a winning start to the Premier League season as they overcame Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 at Old Trafford on Saturday's opening day.
Memphis Depay, centre, and Wayne Rooney, right celebrate after Kyle Walker's own goal put Manchester United ahead against Tottenham. Michael Regan / Getty Images
Memphis Depay, centre, and Wayne Rooney, right celebrate after Kyle Walker's own goal put Manchester United ahead against Tottenham. Michael Regan / Getty Images

MANCHESTER // Louis van Gaal said his Manchester United side had been fortunate to escape from their opening game of the Premier League season against Tottenham Hotspur with three points.

United flattered to deceive for long periods against Tottenham at Old Trafford, with Kyle Walker’s 22nd-minute own goal proving to be the difference between the two sides.

Van Gaal, who had to wait until the fourth game last season for United to pick up their first win, was relieved they had prevailed despite struggling to break down a Tottenham side, who pressurised them and allowed them little time on the ball.

“The most important thing is that we have won,” the Dutchman said.

“There was a lot of pressure on this match because of last year. Our start was very bad last year. I said during the preparation – ‘this is the match’. Maybe I laid too much pressure on this match.

“But when you see this match, you see two high-level teams are pressing higher up and very good.

“Both teams could not coach with pressure. That we have to improve. Out of our pressure we kept the ball and in the transition we made the goal.”

Mauricio Pochettino, the Tottenham manager, said he would depart Old Trafford as a frustrated figure as he believed his side had missed a great opportunity.

“I was very frustrated and disappointed with the result but I’m happy with the performance,” the Argentine said.

“I think the first 20 minutes we dominate the game and created a chance. Then we made a mistake and conceded a goal.

“In the second half we played the same way and Manchester United, after 94 minutes, only shoot one time on target.

“We created more chances than them. Our philosophy is to dominate games and we played to a high level.”

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Published: August 8, 2015 04:00 AM

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