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The Saturday View - Van Gaal's birthday treat

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Kyle Walker's own goal at Old Trafford was the first goal of the new season
Kyle Walker's own goal at Old Trafford was the first goal of the new season

Louis van Gaal had his birthday wish on the opening day of the new Premier League season - and he sang a little song to the assembled media to toast his side's 1-0 triumph.

Tottenham's Kyle Walker has the dubious distinction of scoring the first goal of the Premier League season as his own goal gave a less than convincing United a narrow 1-0 win, but it was enough to get Van Gaal smiling (below).

The main talking point at Old Trafford focused on the absence of David De Gea from the the United's line-up, with the Spanish keeper not in the right frame of mind to play as he continues to be linked with a move to Real Madrid.

Yet after a defeat on the opening day of last season against Swansea, the United fans were content with their side's tight victory.

The highest scoring game of the day saw Claudio Ranieri get his career as Leicester boss off to a flying start as his new side thumped Sunderland 4-2. A relegation six pointer on day one of the season? Okay maybe that is a little harsh.

Crystal Palace's stunning run of form under Alan Pardew's guidance in 2015 continued as they secured a 3-1 win against Premier League new boys Norwich, as summer signing Yohan Cabaye got on the score sheet (below).

We may only be one game into the new season, but the first calls for a managerial sacking have been voiced on social media, with Everton fans unconvinced by Roberto Martinez's tactical acumen as his side ground out a 2-2 draw with Premier League newbies Watford.

A few jeers rang around Goodison Park at the final whistle and the #martinezout made an early appearance on twitter.

Bournemouth's Premier League debut ended in disappointment as Tim Sherwood's Aston Villa secured a 1-0 win courtesy of a goal from summer signing Rudy Gestede, much to the delight of former Villa defender and Sunday World columnist Paul McGrath.

The last word of the day was saved for Premier League kings Chelsea, who had new banners lining the streets leading up to Stamford Bridge to confirm their status as champions.

Yet the display produced by Jose Mourinho's side lack the sparkle that allowed them to establish a dominance over their rivals last season as they staggered to a 2-2 draw against Swansea, on a day when keeper Thibaut Courtois was sent off.

The lacklustre display may encourage Mourinho to go into the transfer market and strengthen his squad in the final three weeks of the window, as Chelsea appear to have lost their spark after a poor pre-season was followed up by an unconvincing start to the season.

Drama, goals, excitement and controversy - the Premier League is back and those who have been suffering from soccer blues in the last couple of months can breath easily again.

Get your Sunday World newspaper this weekend for all the best Premier League coverage, including an exclusive interview with Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand.