Papers: A win, but at what cost?
Report: United 1-0 Birmingham City
Wayne Rooney launched Manchester United’s bid for a fourth successive league title with a first-half winner against promoted Birmingham City at Old Trafford.
United, who had begun their last two Premier League campaigns with Old Trafford draws against Reading and Newcastle, rarely looked like dropping points against Alex McLeish's team following Rooney's 34th minute opener.
But the victory did not come without a cost for United, who saw defender Jonny Evans limp off in the closing stages with a recurrence of an ankle injury that leaves the Northern Irishman doubtful for Wednesday's trip to Burnley.
With Rio Ferdinand missing this game with a thigh strain, and Nemanja Vidic, Gary Neville and Rafael da Silva already sidelined due to injury, the defensive worries are beginning to mount for manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Mark Ogden, The Telegraph
claim Franck Ribery has pledged his immediate future to Bayern Munich. The 26-year-old Frenchman is quoted as saying: “The doors are truly shut. I never said I wanted to join another team.” In other transfer news, The Times
claim Sir Alex could be in the market to buy back former United man Ryan Shawcross from Stoke for further defensive cover.
Meanwhile, The Mirror
report United and Burnley will try and sort out a price with United for right-back Richard Eckersley, who moved to Turf Moor in the summer. The Reds are due a compensation fee for the defender and the paper claims both clubs’ chief executives are keen to agree a fee privately to avoid a tribunal.