Fulltime: Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham
After a home defeat to star last season, Van Gaal gets a much-needed opening win this time. And the result was certainly the best thing about Manchester United’s first match of the season. After a poor start in which Tottenham were on top, United got lucky to secure the only goal when Kyle Walker put the ball into his own net. But, while there were some good moments of possession, United still lacked in fluidity and penetration going forward. Still, there were some encouraging displays at the back, with an authoritative performance from Chris Smalling and fine debut by Matteo Darmian. Sergio Romero, after some difficult moments, also made some good stops at the end. But Tottenham, despite a solid first outing, will be disappointed they were unable to test the new goalkeeper more and Pochettino will doubtless only be more convinced that he needs further additions to his squad, particularly in attacking areas.
90+3 mins: Alderweireld breaks down the right and puts in a cross but United clear. A bit desperate from United at the end here.
90+2 mins: Two more minutes of injury time for United to hold onto a victory to open the season.
89 mins: Tottenham finally threaten United and twice call Romero into action. After shoveling away a deflected header, the Argentine goalkeeper gets down well to stretch out a hand and repel a fierce drive from Eriksen.
85 mins: Valencia’s been on just a couple of minutes but already he was caught out positionally, as he all too often is when playing at right-back. United fortunate it wasn’t costly. And down Valencia’s side once again, Eriksen gets some space to hit a shot from the angle that Romero holds onto down low.
82 mins: Pochettino said in the buildup to this game that he still wants more signings and you have to think he’s frustrated at having no striking options to bring on to aid Tottenham’s cause right now. With Roberto Soldado injured and surely not a long-term solution and Emmanuel Adebayor on his way out, there’s precious little support for Harry Kane.
80 mins: Manchester United now make their final substitution as Antonio Valencia replaces the clearly fatigued Darmian. A well deserved round of applause for the new man.
78 mins: As well as Darmian on the right, Luke Shaw has also performed very well at left-back. After a difficult first season following his big-money move from Southampton, the England international is again suggesting, after an encouraging preseason, that he will have a much better second campaign.
77 mins: After Rooney sends a free-kick a long way over the crossbar, Dele Ali, the 19-year-old signed from Milton Keynes Dons in January but loaned back for the second half of last season, is on for his competitive Spurs debut in place of Eric Dier. The forward-thinking midfielder has shown plenty of potential in preseason.
73 mins: United with a really good spell of possession, and, although they were again unable to threaten the Tottenham goal, they’re keeping their opponents at arm’s length. Rooney did have a brief sight of goal but couldn't connect with an acrobatic volley.
69 mins: Schweinsteiger picks up his first yellow card in the Premier League with a unsubtle trip on Nacer Chadli.
68 mins: Unsurprisingly, Memphis makes way to bring a mixed debut to an end. Ander Herrera, very impressive in the second half of last season, is his replacement.
67 mins: Dembele sends a cross into the arms of Romero and, despite United still not being near their best, Tottenham are doing precious little to show they truly believe they can find a way back into this contest.
65 mins: And finally, United have their first shot on target. Rooney’s cross is diverted away from Schweinsteiger to Young at the back post, but, after cutting in on his right foot, the winger’s effort was hit tamely straight at Michel Vorm.
63 mins: If Memphis is going to continue to occupy that No. 10 role, United are going to need the former PSV Eindhoven man to do a better job of linking the play than he’s done today. All too often his touches have failed to come off and prevented any momentum to United’s attacks. Of course it’s an incredibly early stage of his United career, and he did play a crucial role in the only goal with the pass to Young.
60 mins: And here is Schweinsteiger to make his competitive debut for Manchester United, getting a big cheer as he replaces Michael Carrick.
58 mins: Romero’s been shaky but he does well this time to come out and get down low to cut out an Eriksen free-kick.
57 mins: Schweinsteiger now appears to be receiving some instructions ahead of coming on to make his United bow.
56 mins: Matteo Darmian continues to make a very encouraging debut in a Manchester United shirt. Always alert defensively and equipped getting forward, the Italy international has certainly reinforced the impression that he’ll be a much-needed upgrade on Antonio Valencia in the right-back berth.
53 mins: But it’s Tottenham who make the first change, with Bentaleb, at fault for the opening goal, being replaced by Ryan Mason. The midfielder made his return from a knee problem in the second half of Wednesday's victory over AC Milan.
51 mins: Bastian Schweinsteiger gets a big ovations from the Old Trafford crowd as he comes off the bench to warm up. Van Gaal stated on Friday that the former Bayern Munich man wasn't fit to start the opener after arriving at the club last month straight from his holidays.
50 mins: A moment of danger for Manchester United, as Daley Blind loses out to Dembele on the edge of his own box, but Kane can’t get past the last defender.
48 mins: While United have spent big on their midfield in signing Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger, Michael Carrick, at the age of 34, is still showing that he has a strong influence upon this team.
46 mins: The second half is underway with no substitutions made by either team.
While waiting for the second half to get underway, here's another look at the only go so far.
Halftime: Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham
Not the most convincing first 45 minutes of the season for Manchester United and it was Tottenham who started by far the brighter. But since that Kyle Walker own goal against the run of play midway through the period, United have been much better and taken control of the contest. Van Gaal will want more in the second half, but, after the team’s struggles at the start of last season, he’ll surely take a narrow opening win. If Tottenham are to prevent that from happening, they'll have to regain the early zest that's since disappeared from their play.
45 mins: Romero again looks flustered when Tottenham pressure him with the ball at his feet and for a second time kicks the ball erroneously out of play. Surely that’s something Pochettino will instruct his players to try and capitalize on in the second half.
42 mins: Memphis is starting to find some pockets of space in behind the Tottenham midfield now, but he’s still just lacking the right final product.
40 mins: United are still struggling to penetrate the Tottenham defense, but they’re completely in control of the match now, displaying some nice passing and touches. Confidence looks to be building after that rocky start.
36 mins: Another good move from United ends with Juan Mata seeing a shot blocked by a defender and then from the rebound scuffing an effort wide on his favored left foot.
Here's the context behind that request:
For those wondering why Memphis doesn't go by Depay: he's estranged from his Ghanaian father and doesn't want to be associated with him.
— LeanderAlphabet (@LeanderAlphabet) August 8, 2015
29 mins: Apparently the official instructions from Manchester United are that Memphis Depay wants to be known simply as “Memphis.” So there.
28 mins: Incredibly that goal came before Manchester United had a single shot at goal. But they’re playing much better since going in front, with Young almost setting up another golden chance with a low cross and Depay having a shot blocked away.
Here's a Vine of that Kyle Walker own goal:
22 mins: Goal! Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham (Walker O.G.)
Just as I was criticizing United, they take the lead with a goal out of nothing and completely against the run of play. Nabil Bentaleb played a sloppy pass across midfield, which allowed Ashley Young to quickly be played in behind down the right. The United winger picked out Rooney in the middle, but before he could apply the finish Walker came storming back and inadvertently turned the ball past Michel Vorm and into his own net.
21 mins: Tottenham are sharper to everything right now, repeatedly knicking the ball away from ponderous United players. The home side need to inject more urgency into their play here, something they struggled with through much of last season.
18 mins: Romero now gets out quickly to close out and block an effort from Kyle Walker who sneaked in behind Ashley Young from a aerial ball across the box.
17 mins: Romero just carelessly put the ball out of play for a throw in a sign of the difficulty United are having playing the ball out of the back in the face of the typically high pressure of Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham.
14 mins: It’s definitely Tottenham who are on top right now, pressing high and playing the game largely in the United half of the field.
12 mins: After Morgan Scheniderlin got robbed on the edge of his own box by Mousa Dembele, Kane has a shot blocked behind for a Tottenham corner. The set piece comes to nothing.
10 mins: Should mention that Depay has taken the No. 7 shirt, made famous by the likes of George Best, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo, following the departure of Angel di Maria this week.
7 mins: Matteo Darmian gives an early signal of his ability to get forward, feeding onto a fine pass from Juan Mata, but the signing from Torino over his cross on this occasion.
6 mins: Intriguingly, the three United goalkeepers not featuring today and seemingly on the way out of Old Trafford -- David de Gea, Victor Valdes and Anders Lindegaard -- are all sat next to each other in the stands.
5 mins: First chance of the match goes to Tottenham. Harry Kane plays a fine pass over the United defense for Christian Eriksen, who beats Romero but can’t get the ball to dip under the crossbar.
2 mins: Memphis Depay and Wayne Rooney linking up early on. The combination between the exciting signing from PSV Eindohoven and the longest-serving United player will be crucial for United’s attacking ambitions today and this season.
1 min: And we’re underway at Old Trafford and in the Premier League this season!
7:41 a.m. EDT: Players out onto the Old Trafford pitch with kickoff less than five minutes away.
7:31 a.m. EDT: As for Tottenham, they, too, field their backup goalkeeper, with Michel Vorm deputizing for Hugo Lloris, who is only fit enough for a place on the bench after fracturing his wrist last month. The same is true for Ryan Mason, who similarly only made his return from injury in their final preseason friendly against Milan on Wednesday. Danny Rose misses out through a quadriceps injury picked up in training.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 8, 2015
7: 29 a.m. EDT: Just over15 minutes until the kickoff of the new Premier League season. In the meantime, here’s a chance to look over the team sheets for Manchester United against Tottenham. First United, and the big news is that Louis van Gaal has selected new signing Sergio Romero to make his debut in place of David de Gea, who he revealed on Friday would not play due to the continued uncertainty over his transfer to Real Madrid. Romero has yet to take the field in a United shirt after helping Argentina to the final of the Copa America. Three other players make their competitive debuts: Dutch starlet Memphis Depay, Italy right-back Matteo Darmian and former Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin. Bastian Schweinsteiger is fit enough only for a place on the bench.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 8, 2015
Preview:The wait is over and the Premier League will get back underway on Saturday lunchtime with last season’s fourth-place finishers Manchester United taking on the side that just missed out on a coveted place in the top four, Tottenham. It is also a meeting between two teams that have taken contrasting approaches to the summer transfer window.
Having earned a place in the Champions League playoffs, with a meeting against Club Brugge to come later this month, United have spent more money than any other Premier League club so far. And Italy right-back Matteo Darmian, former Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin and Dutch starlet Memphis Depay could all make the debuts on Saturday. Bastian Schweinsteiger, though, will miss out on the starting lineup as he still strives for fitness. Yet there could be an unexpected debut for goalkeeper Sergio Romero, after manager Louis van Gaal confirmed he has decided that David de Gea isn’t in the right frame of mind to play as the uncertainty about a long-mooted transfer to Real Madrid goes on. With Romero yet to play since the Copa America, however, 22-year-old Sam Johnstone is a likelier deputy.
Tottenham have taken a more prudent approach to their spending. Their only major addition has been Belgium defender Toby Alderweireld, while the rest of the money has been spent on securing young players with an eye to the future. Still, it has left manager Mauricio Pochettino admitting that he believes the squad remains short on numbers, particularly up front, heading into the new campaign. For the opening day, the Argentinian has revealed that goalkeeper Hugo Lloris won’t be fit enough to start after breaking a wrist last month. Ryan Mason is also set to have to make do with a place on the bench as he makes his way back from injury, while Andros Townsend and Roberto Soldado are expected to miss out.
Check back here at 7:45 a.m. EDT on Saturday for live updates and video highlights from the match.