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  • Manchester United beat Tottenham in the opening game of the 2015/16 Premier League season courtesy of a first-half own goal from Kyle Walker
  • David de Gea not involved after being deemed incapable of focusing by manager Louis van Gaal amid transfer interest from Real Madrid
  • Sergio Romero started in goal, with Matteo Darmian, Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Memphis Depay also handed competitive debuts for United
  • Toby Alderweireld made first Tottenham start alongside Jan Vertonghen. Hugo Lloris only fit enough for the substitutes' bench behind Michel Vorm
  • First Tottenham appearance for Dele Alli
Kyle Walker
Kyle Walker's own goal was enough to secure an opening day three points for Manchester United at Old Trafford AFP

A late flurry from Tottenham proves fruitless and the match ends 1-0. Not a great spectacle by any means, but United were mostly comfortable after going ahead through Walker's awkward own goal and nullified their opponents' threat well enough bar an uncertain start.

One or two nervy moments for Romero in goal, but he will take great confidence from that clean sheet. Smalling looked very composed and Pochettino will be disappointed not to have provided a sterner test of his partnership with Blind.

Tottenham began well but faded after conceding and they look a few additions short of challenging to regain a spot in the top four.

That's it for this particular blog, but join IBTimes UK here for coverage of this afternoon's four 1500 BST kick-off including Everton v Watford and Bournemouth v Aston Villa.


Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham

Four minutes of added time for Tottenham to find a goal.

This second half at Old Trafford has been rather devoid of quality and plentiful goalmouth action, but Tottenham are bursting into life late on.

A deep free-kick from Eriksen is headed towards goal by Kane. The ball takes a big deflection of Smalling before Romero somewhat oddly chooses to slap it away when it may have been easier to hold.

The attack remains alive and Romero is forced into a stronger save from Eriksen's well-struck drive. Cautions for Mata and Alli as the game takes on a frenetic pace.

Although United have been mostly comfortable since going ahead, their lead remains slender and a point may not be beyond Tottenham as we progress into the final few minutes of the 90.

A glorious diagonal ball from Alderweireld finds Eriksen, who lashes a left-footed strike towards goal from a difficult angle that is well dealt with by Romero.

Walker sends a lofted pass into United's area towards Mason. Smalling comes across to cover but a slight mix-up between him and Romero almost provides a nervy moment.

A final change from Van Gaal sees Darmian taken off and Valencia brought on.

No chance of Dier picking up a second caution as he walks off to be replaced by Alli.

Dier is booked for a foul on Young. A decision he angrily protests before Rooney's free-kick is sent harmlessly over.

Mata and Darmian combine to great effect down Tottenham's left. The latter finds Rooney with a cross, but the captain botches his attempt at an acrobatic finish.

A chance for Tottenham as Kane sends Dembele free down the right flank. The Belgian produces a good low delivery, but Romero is quick off his line and gathers before Chadli can knock home the equaliser.

Schweinsteiger booked for a cynical trip on Chadli as Ander Herrera comes on in place of debutant Depay.

Lamela replaces Dembele.

A chance for Young to seal the three points as a Rooney cross is headed into his path at the back post. He cuts inside Dembele, but a low shot is saved by Vorm.

Rapturous applause as Schweinsteiger replaces Carrick. United fans will be chomping at the bit to see just how big an impact the World Cup winning midfielder can have on their fortunes this term.

A dangerous whipped free-kick from Eriksen just evades the head of Eric Dier and Romero goes low to claim. Schweinsteiger is about to come on for the hosts.

Danger for United as Bentaleb knocks the ball through for Chadli, but it does not reach Kane before being hoofed clear.

The last action for Bentaleb as Ryan Mason is introduced.

United on the prowl again with stylish passing play from Young and Rooney. Depay does well to create space for the shot, but he can't keep it down and it sails over Vorm's crossbar.

No changes from either side at the break, I should mention. No strikers on the bench for Tottenham, with Erik Lamela probably the most suitable player to come on and provide support for Kane.

The second half is back underway.

Are Manchester United on course for a straightforward victory or can Tottenham mount a comeback to avoid starting the season with a defeat?

A good early start from Tottenham during which Eriksen came close to giving them the lead has given way to a dominant performance from United.

The only goal was certainly unlucky from Walker's point of view, but the errant pass that preceded it from Bentaleb was careless and deservedly punished. Mata, Young and Depay look dangerous as the three players in support of Rooney up front and United's pressing/discipline has been largely good.

Pochettino, meanwhile, will be keen to see his team return to the sort of form they displayed during the opening few minutes. Their confidence has sapped badly and Kane is cutting an increasingly isolated figure in the final third.


Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham

A rare attack from Tottenham is easily seen off as United immediately get 11 men back behind the ball. Van Gaal will be pleased with the discipline displayed by his side so far.

The first-half ends with a powerful shot from Alderweireld that is deflected and held by Romero.

The game has entered something of a late first-half lull, but that will suit Tottenham rather nicely in the final few minutes before half-time.

They will be pleased to return to their dressing room at 0-1 given how their early confidence has been shattered by conceding the first goal.

United continuing to threaten with Mata the architect. The affable Spaniard cuts inside from the right and feeds Schneiderlin, who attempts to zip a lofted ball through to Depay or Rooney but he hits it too hard and the danger is averted.

A good interception from Schneiderlin sees the lively Mata collect possession. Tottenham's defenders converge to block his initial shot but he is afforded a second effort due to a lethargic clearance from Bentaleb. Vorm is sent scrambling but it goes wide.

I must confess that I'm not a particular fan of this new Premier League ball. It rather looks like someone has decided to decapitate poor Spiderman.

Tottenham's early composure looks to have gone out of the window with that own goal.

A United corner is cleared but Pochettino's side are very much second best now with 15 minutes still to play before the break.

Mata's free-kick clips the wall but Young keeps the attack alive. He beats Alderweireld and sends a low pass to the waiting Depay, but his tame shot is cleared by Walker before it can reach Vorm.

That goal looks to have settled United and they are now piling forward with menace courtesy of Young and Depay.

First yellow card of the season goes to Vertonghen for a late challenge that leaves Mata in a crumpled heap. Free-kick in a good position.

Despite playing the first 22 minutes of this game on the backfoot, United now find themselves in the lead.

A sloppy pass from Nabil Bentaleb is picked off easily and Depay finds Young on the right. His low cross picks out Rooney, but before he can set his feet to provide the finishing touch Walker sneaks in from behind to make the tackle.

Unfortunately for him, however, Vorm had already come to meet the danger and the ball rolls agonisingly into the bottom corner. Desperately unlucky.

Goal: Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham (Kyle Walker OG)

A very tight offside call from the referee's assistant on the far side stops Mousa Dembele in his tracks as he races through to meet a through-ball from Eriksen. Benefit of the doubt probably should have gone to the attacker there.

Better interplay from United's forward players as Mata combines well with Rooney before finding Depay.

The ball finds its way over to Young wide left, but he is well marshalled by Walker.

Romero called into action to thwart Kyle Walker after the England right-back made a good, angled run into the penalty area to receive possession from Eriksen.

15 minutes gone at Old Trafford and Tottenham remain in the ascendancy. Eriksen with the only real chance of the game so far as Romero unconvincingly puts the ball out of play under little pressure.

United have been pressing early, but let's not forget that Pochettino is the master of that particular system.

Schneiderlin is caught in possession by Chadli after receiving the ball from Romero. Eriksen finds Kane, who wins a corner as his shot is blocked by Blind. It eventually comes to nothing, but Tottenham are looking dangerous early on here.

Good determination from Kane as he loses possession to Luke Shaw near the right touchline before winning it back and beating Blind. Chris Smalling snuffs out the danger and earns a goal kick with an authoritative tackle.

United's first real foray forward ends with Darmian looping a cross into the box that is well collected by Vorm. A subsequent Young delivery is then headed clear by Alderweireld.

What an early chance for Tottenham with less than five minutes on the clock. Nacer Chadli feeds Kane from the left flank, who scoops a lovely ball through to Christian Eriksen.

The Dane gets ahead of Darmian and controls with his head before sending a left-footed volley onto the roof of Romero's net.

A warning for United.

Tottenham enjoying a lot of possession early on, although they are yet to pose any sort of attacking threat. United pressing high with Depay pushing right up with Rooney.

Mata and Young both drifting in to help Schneiderlin and Michael Carrick apply significant pressure.

Jonathan Moss gives a sharp blast of his whistle and the 2015/16 Premier League season is officially underway. We expect plenty of the usual thrills and spills between now and May.

Bring it on.

Just five minutes to go now until kick-off in Manchester. The tension is certainly building.

Just enough time to check out IBTimes UK's season previews for these two sides as well as our writers' predictions for the 2015/16 top-flight season as a whole:

Pochettino confirms before kick-off that Danny Rose picked up a quad injury in training that rules him out of contention for today's match. Ben Davies starts at left-back after making just 14 Premier League appearances during his first season at Tottenham and requiring surgery in April on a dislocated shoulder.

The Argentine also confirms that the decision to start Vorm ahead of Lloris is 'common sense' given that the latter played just 35 minutes on his comeback against Milan in Germany.

Van Gaal claims he and his staff have 'tried everything' to improve De Gea's focus, but seemingly to no avail.

Tottenham's preparations today will undoubtedly have been affected by their late finish to pre-season.

The club were criticised for their decision to play two friendlies in Malaysia and Australia just days after their 2014/15 campaign ended with a 1-0 victory at Everton and only returned to the United Kingdom on Thursday following their involvement at the Audi Cup in Munich.

The opening exchanges at Old Trafford will be a good indication of whether it was ill-advised to play a final friendly against AC Milan just three days before the season opener.

Concerns over potential soft-tissue injuries may prove valid.

Tottenham's paucity of striking options is unmistakable from even a cursory glance at their teamsheet today.

With underwhelming duo Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado seemingly on their way out of the club, more pressure will be heaped on the shoulders of Kane until Pochettino can seek appropriate reinforcements.

If rumours are to be believed, than any of Saido Berahino, Clinton Njie or Charlie Austin could be making the switch to White Hart Lane before the transfer window closes on 1 September.

For now, Spurs will be hoping that Kane does not suffer from any hint of the cliched 'second-season syndrome' after bursting onto the scene last season with 31 goals in all competitions.

Plenty of expectation at Old Trafford ahead of a season during which they are expected to be back amongst the thick of the title race after two years of difficult transition by the club's usual ultra-high standards.

The ongoing speculation with De Gea continues to provide an irritating distraction and all eyes will be on Romero today to see if he has what it takes to fill the position on a long-term basis given his lack of regular football with Sampdoria.

Johnstone perhaps slightly unlucky to miss out given his performances in the United States, although it is worth remembering that Romero, who only signed for United on 27 July, is first choice for his Argentina and did represent his country at this summer's Copa America in Chile.

Morgan Schneiderlin should not need much time to settle in given that he already boasts plenty of Premier League experience with Southampton and it will be intriguing to see how Depay copes with the pressure of that famous number seven shirt. It seems that Van Gaal plans to play him just off Rooney at the start of the season, rather than out on the flanks.

Blind at centre-back is an interesting decision that does not seem to have gone down particularly well with supporters.

Schweinsteiger was United's headline pre-season deal, although he missed a number of league for Bayern over recent seasons and is likely to be used somewhat sparingly and when injury allows. Darmian has impressed in Serie A with Torino and at international level for Italy.

Bastian Schweinsteiger is on the bench for United today, as is forgotten striker Javier Hernandez and 19-year-old Brazilian prospect Andreas Pereira.

Lloris is named among the substitutes for Tottenham, meanwhile, as are two of Pochettino's summer signings in Kevin Wimmer and Kieran Trippier.

Dele Alli, who officially moved to White Hart Lane in January before being loaned back to former club MK Dons for the remaining months of their League One promotion push, is also included in the squad.

Around 45 minutes until kick-off.

BREAKING: Pochettino's starting XI sees a Tottenham debut for versatile defender Toby Alderweireld following his move from Atletico Madrid. Influential goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is not fit enough to start, however, having sustained a wrist injury during pre-season. Michel Vorm starts between the posts. Jan Vertonghen captains the side.

BREAKING: New signing Sergio Romero will deputise for De Gea this afternoon, with Sam Johnstone named among the substitutes. No place for Anders Lindegaard or Victor Valdes, with the latter having fallen out with Van Gaal due to a dispute over his availability for the reserves last season.

United also hand competitive debuts to Matteo Darmian, Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay. Captain Wayne Rooney leads the line and Ashley Young starts less than 24 hours after signing a new three-year deal. Daley Blind to play at centre-back.

We already know prior to the official team news that David de Gea will not be involved for the hosts today.

Despite firmly establishing himself as the Premier League's best goalkeeper alongside Thibaut Courtois last term, he continues to be persistently linked with a move to Real Madrid and Louis van Gaal does not believe he will be able to focus on the matter at hand today.

Only a matter of time until his exit is officially confirmed, you would think.

After a six-week break that has seemed significantly shorter due to international friendlies and tournaments such as the Copa America and Gold Cup, English domestic football returns in all its unpredictable glory this weekend.

Last night, Brighton and Nottingham Forest got things underway in the Championship and this afternoon the Premier League once again takes centre stage as Manchester United look to get their title charge off to a winning start at Old Trafford against Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham Hotspur.

Breaking team news, confirmed line-ups and live updates will follow.

It's good to be back, folks!