Manchester United player ratings v Tottenham

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A 22nd minute own goal from Kyle Walker was enough for Manchester United to seal a victory over Tottenham in their first Premier League game of the season.

Louis van Gaal will be pleased to obtain three points after United lost their opening game to Swansea last August.

The clash at Old Trafford saw new signings Matteo Darmian, Memphis Depay, Morgan Schneiderlin and Sergio Romero start. Bastian Schweinsteiger made his United debut as a second half substitute, replacing Michael Carrick. Here's how the United players performed against Spurs.


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The Argentine was granted a start after Van Gaal decided David de Gea wouldn't be considered for selection.

The 28-year-old will be satisfied with the clean sheet on his debut. Romero started shakily and looked uncomfortable with the ball at his feet, playing a left-footed kick into touch in the first half.

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He grew into the game though and pulled off some important saves in the second half, though he was guilty of palming the ball into danger areas at times. Overall it was a solid enough debut but their are still question marks over whether he's good enough to be United's new number one.


The Italian impressed during United's tour of the USA and carried his form into this competitive fixture.

The young full-back shone on his United debut and is a player fans should be very excited about. Although Van Gaal previously stated that Darmian would serve as Antonio Valencia's back up he will surely continue at right-back after this performance.

He looked good in both defence and attack and clearly grew in confidence as the game went on. A nice bit of combination play with Juan Mata in the second half was a particular highlight in an excellent debut.


After Phil Jones was preferred on tour, it was far from certain that Smalling would start this game. However Van Gaal started with the 25-year-old and he repaid his faith in him. Smalling put in an authoritative performance at the back.

The centre-half made a good start to the game, confidently dispossessing Harry Kane when he entered the penalty area in the first half. United have been looking for a ball playing centre-half and thankfully Smalling is starting to look more and more comfortable on the ball. He's far from world class but he deserves a place in this defence.


As expected Van Gaal deployed Blind as a centre-back. United fans would certainly have been hoping that club would've brought in a new centre-half by now, but Blind put in a decent performance.

The Dutchman looked cool and composed on the ball and was always willing to dribble it out. Unfortunately he was also caught out on a few occasions. He is clearly not a centre-half, as shown by his lack of pace and strength. Blind was too easily muscled off the ball at times.

It wasn't a bad performance but he's not the answer to United's defensive problems.


Another who impressed in pre-season. Although he wasn't as impressive as his fellow full back Darmian, the Englishman will be content with his start to the season.

Completing the full 90 minutes is a good omen for the season ahead. He appeared far more confident in United red than he did in his injury plagued debut season. The 20-year-old showed the pace that he became famous for at Southampton, especially during a penetrating second-half run.

There were also a few minor errors, for instance he was dispossessed in the first half, presenting a chance to Kane. Although he's still not performing to his very best this was a promising start.


Quietly effective as always, Michael Carrick put in a typical performance. There was nothing spectacular but he remained in control of the midfield throughout.

The 33-year-old went about his business in a professional manner and did all that was expected of him. With Schweinsteiger now in their ranks the pressure on Carrick to play entire matches has been relieved, meaning both their careers could be extended.


The new signing from Southampton will feel he could've done better on his United debut. The Frenchman was caught in possession a number of times.

Despite this he has definitely improved United's midfield. Generally, he guarded the back four well. He will want to impose himself more on games in the future. 


One of Van Gaal's real success stories, the winger picked up from where he left off last season. The 30-year-old had the beating of Kyle Walker for much of the game.

Once again it was great to see the Englishman marauding down the wing. His willingness to cross on his weaker left foot is admirable, something too few players do these days. It was his cutting pass to Wayne Rooney which resulted in Walker's own goal.

As usual he also did his job defensively, aiding Shaw down the left hand side. If he can continue in this vein he will surely earn his place back in the England squad.


There were high expectations for Depay's debut. The Dutchman boasts an impressive goal-scoring record in Holland. The youngster was played in the number ten position behind Rooney.

Depay undoubtedly has plenty of confidence in his ability, shown by his desire to inherit the famous number seven shirt. He produced a few neat touches on his debut and there was some promising link-up play with Rooney.

The best is surely yet to come though, as there was an apparent lack of end product. It remains to be seen where he will eventually fit in, perhaps switching with Juan Mata would be beneficial.


Once again Mata was pushed out to the right-wing and once again he looked at his best when he drifted inside.

United are never going to see the best of him while he's playing on the flanks. Overall it was an underwhelming performance from the midfielder who has neither the pace nor the strength to play as an out and out winger.

Thus he was forced to come inside, where he could enjoy greater influence on the game. He was involved in the build up to the goal but his overall impact on the game was limited.


The United captain didn't look sharp in pre-season and looked out of sorts in this clash. There is a lot of pressure on Rooney this season, now he's finally been released to play up front.

Fans will hope that this performance was just one born out of early season rustiness. He'll be disappointed that he didn't convert in the 22nd minute though Walker's own goal saved his blushes.

He didn't get the ball much but will certainly feel than he could have done better when he did receive it. Van Gaal will hope they can get him firing quickly as a free-scoring Rooney is crucial to their title challenge.



Made his debut when he replaced Carrick on the hour. The German showed his vast experience when he immediately started directing play. He made a couple of impressive passes but he's still not completely match fit.


Has become somewhat of a forgotten man at Old Trafford. Replaced Depay after 73 minutes but made little impact after coming on. Has he permanently lost his starting place?


Replaced Darmian with ten minutes to go and was unconvincing in his brief appearance. Brought on to help see the game out he produced a couple of shaky moments in defence during his cameo appearance. Darmian should start at right-back again next week.

United fans, how do you think your side played at the weekend? Let us know in the comments box below.

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Louis van Gaal
Premier League
Manchester United

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