Fixtures: United's record in Premier League openers
Manchester United will discover our 28th opening-weekend opponents in the Premier League when the fixtures are released at 09:00 BST on Thursday morning.
Here, we look back at all of our opening games in the 27 Premier League seasons so far, as we wait to see who we'll face on matchday one of 2019/20...
Things did not begin well for Alex Ferguson's side at the advent of the Premier League in 1992. Brian Deane scored the opening goal of the new competition to hand Sheffield United the lead at Bramall Lane and, despite Mark Hughes finding the net, the Blades won 2-1. Thankfully, after a slow start, Ferguson’s men went on to win the title.
Kicking off a new campaign as champions for the first time since 1968, United earned a 2-0 triumph at Norwich City in 1993 with youngster Ryan Giggs and old campaigner Bryan Robson doing the damage. Giggs would, of course, go on to have a long career himself – he bagged a late winner at the same ground, Carrow Road, over nine years later in February 2012.A maiden home opener of the new division came in 1994, as Hughes again scored, along with Brian McClair, to earn a 2-0 victory against Queens Park Rangers at Old Trafford. Our first opening-day defeat came the year after, as David Beckham netted in a 3-1 reverse at Aston Villa to prompt BBC pundit Alan Hansen’s comment that
“you never win anything with kids”. Of course, come the end of that 1995/96 season, United clinched the Double with a win at Wembley against Hansen’s former club Liverpool.
One of those stellar kids, Beckham, was at it again in 1996, taking another leap towards superstardom with his spectacular goal from the halfway line against Wimbledon at Selhurst Park. The midfielder only came on as a substitute at Tottenham a year later, in a 2-0 win, before hitting the headlines once again in the Treble term of 1998/99 with a glorious late free-kick equaliser against Leicester City.
Following a draw with Everton in 1999 and win over Newcastle in 2000, Beckham scored in yet another opening fixture, in 2001.
However, this time, the headlines belonged to Ruud van Nistelrooy. The deadly Dutchman had already got off the mark on his debut in the Community Shield against Liverpool but this was his league bow and he started as he meant to go on by claiming a double in a 3-2 home success against Fulham. The Cottagers' main man was Louis Saha, who hit a brace; by the opening fixture of 2006/07, he had switched sides and netted in a 5-1 beating of the west Londoners, with Wayne Rooney notching a double.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's solitary goal saw off West Brom in 2002 and then Giggs was on the mark again in 2003 – hitting a brace, including a marvellous free-kick, in the 4-0 beating of Bolton Wanderers.
United faced two future managers in the next two opening fixtures. Jose Mourinho's first game as Chelsea boss in 2004 was the Blues' 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge. Twelve months later, David Moyes, then at the Everton helm, was on the receiving end of the Reds' 2-0 away win with Rooney netting against his former club.
Following a goalless draw with Reading in 2007, Sir Alex's men hosted Newcastle United on the first weekend twice in three seasons, drawing 1-1 in 2008/09 and seeing them off 3-0 in 2010/11. Darren Fletcher was on the scoresheet in both games against the Magpies; sandwiched in between those openers was a narrow win over Birmingham City.
David De Gea's rude introduction to the rigours of English league football ended with a battling 2-1 win at West Brom in 2011, before another meeting with Moyes' Everton resulted in a rare opening-game defeat for United. Marouane Fellaini, who would later follow his boss in joining the Reds, scored the only goal at Goodison Park.
There were contrasting results when we met Swansea City on the opening day in successive seasons – a 4-1 away win under Moyes, with the goals shared by Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck, followed by a 2-1 home loss in Louis van Gaal's first game as manager.
Romelu Lukaku went one better than Ibra, with a brace on his Premier League bow for the club, when the Reds beat West Ham 4-0 a year later. Another London side, Tottenham, had been defeated 1-0 at Old Trafford in 2015, courtesy of a Kyle Walker own goal.
Last year’s Friday-night win against Leicester City was memorable for Luke Shaw’s maiden strike in senior football. Meanwhile, fellow goalscorer Paul Pogba could become the first United player to net in three successive Premier League openers if he hits the ground running again in August. The Frenchman was also on target against the Hammers in 2017.
PREMIER LEAGUE OPENERS - THE FACTS AND FIGURES
Biggest win: 5-1 v Fulham (H), 2006.
Heaviest defeat: 3-1 v Aston Villa (A), 1995.
Leading scorers: Rooney 7, Beckham 4, Giggs 4, van Nistelrooy 4.
Most frequent opponents: Everton 3, Newcastle United 3.
Played: 27. Won: 18. Drawn: 4. Lost: 5.
ALL THE RESULTS
1992: Sheffield United (A) 1-2
1993: Norwich City (A) 2-0
1994: QPR (H) 2-0
1995: Aston Villa (A) 1-3
1996: Wimbledon (A) 3-0
1997: Tottenham Hotspur (A) 2-0
1998: Leicester City (H) 2-2
1999: Everton (A) 1-1
2000: Newcastle United (H) 2-0
2001: Fulham (H) 3-2
2002: West Brom (H) 1-0
2003: Bolton Wanderers (H) 4-0
2004: Chelsea (A) 0-1
2005: Everton (A) 2-0
2006: Fulham (H) 5-1
2007: Reading (H) 0-0
2008: Newcastle United (H) 1-1
2009: Birmingham City (H) 1-0
2010: Newcastle United (H) 3-0
2011: West Brom (A) 2-1
2012: Everton (A) 0-1
2013: Swansea City (A) 4-1
2014: Swansea City (H) 1-2
2015: Tottenham Hotspur (H) 1-0
2016: Bournemouth (A) 3-1
2017: West Ham United (H) 4-0
2018: Leicester City (H) 2-1
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