Manchester: Manager Louis van Gaal praised the performance of his debutants as Manchester United opened the 2015-16 English Premier League season with a 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.
The United manager had opened his reign at the club with defeat at home to Swansea City last season but despite some nervous moments, his side claimed the three points thanks to Kyle Walker’s own goal in the 22nd minute on Saturday.
Four of Van Gaal’s summer signings started the match – Sergio Romero, Morgan Schneiderlin, Memphis Depay and Matteo Darmian – with Bastian Schweinsteiger coming on for his debut as a substitute in the second half. The Dutchman was pleased with how his new boys performed.
“It’s always difficult because the first time play at Old Trafford and people are very supporting,” he said after the match on Saturday.
“I said in advance for example to Memphis he doesn’t have to play with too much eagerness or passion. I said that also counts for whole team. It’s always the first time you play at Old Trafford is always difficult.
“I like the performance, especially Darmian, he played a good match with and without the ball. Romero kept the clean sheet, he did it wonderfully with saving the ball. He is only one week with us, this is a process, you have to wait for it,” he added.
Although United’s goal came against the run of play and Tottenham threatened an equaliser towards the end, van Gaal believed his team deserved the victory.
“Our pressure was very good, and out of our pressure we scored the only goal, so I think it was a deserved win,” he said.
“It was a difficult game with two teams who wanted to press, so every player was on the ball for a small amount of time. We didn’t keep the ball too much but, in transitions, we created a few chances. We could not cope well with their pressure but we had a lot of possibilities.”