PL Collection: United's classic opening-day wins

Wednesday 15 June 2022 12:03

On the eve of the 2022/23 fixtures release, we're delving into our Premier League Collection one more time to look at four memorable opening-weekend victories for Manchester United.

Previously in the series, we recommended 76 different games for you to watch - four for each opposition team we'll face in the top flight next term, from Arsenal to Wolves.

Not wishing to repeat any of those, we've now selected matches against sides who are no longer in the Premier League and there is plenty of action to enjoy as we anticipate the 2022/23 fixtures dropping at 09:00 BST on Thursday morning.

Highlights of every league game we have played since 1992 are now available to view in the full PL Collection on the United App and

United 4 Bolton Wanderers 0 Video

United 4 Bolton Wanderers 0

16 August 2003: Cristiano Ronaldo makes his United debut as the Reds beat Bolton Wanders 4-0 on opening day...


The first time Cristiano Ronaldo graced Old Trafford was an occasion that will stick in the memory of every supporter inside the stadium. It was only 1-0 to Sir Alex Ferguson's side when the raw but outrageously gifted winger replaced Nicky Butt just past the hour mark. Ryan Giggs's free-kick had been the difference, although he was soon going to have to get used to his new team-mate wanting to take the set-pieces. Kevin Nolan pulled back our first Portuguese player when he tried to latch onto a Roy Keane pass but Ruud van Nistelrooy's penalty was kept out by Jussi Jaaskelainen. As the fans chanted 'There's only one Ronaldo', the youngster took centre stage but it was Giggs who calmed any nerves with his second goal after van Nistelrooy was again denied by the Bolton keeper. Scholes danced through to add a third and although van Nistelrooy might have been offside for the fourth, we were delighted to see the flag stay down as the Dutchman slammed home from Diego Forlan's cute touch.


The first game since Sir Alex's emotional farewell, and the opening fixture of David Moyes's spell in charge, turned into a walk in the park in Wales. There was a lot of attention on substitute Wayne Rooney, amid talk that he was looking to leave, but Robin van Persie was the main man on this occasion, cleverly converting a Giggs pass to open the scoring. Danny Welbeck soon made it 2-0, from an Antonio Valencia cross, and United were coasting. Rooney was introduced to notch an assist when picking out van Persie and, although Wilfried Bony pulled one back, Welbeck kept pace with the Dutchman when lofting an exquisite chip over Michel Vorm.

Swansea City 1 United 4 Video

Swansea City 1 United 4

17 August 2013: Goals from Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck saw the Reds beat Swansea on the opening day...

WIMBLEDON 0 UNITED 3 (1996/97)

A game featuring 'that goal' by Beckham, his astounding long-ranger that flew over Neil Sullivan to truly announce the midfield marvel as a superstar in the making. The reigning champions went ahead at Selhurst Park with an Eric Cantona strike after 25 minutes, cushioning the ball with his left foot and then burying it with his right. Denis Irwin doubled the advantage from a difficult angle, beating Sullivan at his near post after his fellow Irishman, Roy Keane, played a fine pass beyond Vinnie Jones. However, this afternoon was all about Becks and his late once-in-a-lifetime effort from the halfway line. "Take a bow David Beckham, a goal you'll see over and over again," said commentator Martin Tyler. He was right.

Wimbledon 0 United 3 Video

Wimbledon 0 United 3

17 August 1996: This season opener at Selhurst Park is best remembered for a special David Beckham goal...

UNITED 2 QPR 0 (1994/95)

The Double winners kicked off a new campaign that would ultimately end in twin disappointment in the league and FA Cup with a good start against the west Londoners. QPR's task was made all the more difficult when former City defender Clive Wilson was sent off for tripping Andrei Kanchelskis after only eight minutes. Mark Hughes was always a man capable of providing the spectacular and he broke the deadlock, soon after half-time, when powering an explosive drive past fellow Wales international Tony Roberts. After Kevin Gallen spurned a great chance to equalise, Brian McClair ensured some breathing space by heading in the rebound when Paul Ince's drive came back off the underside of the bar. United substitute Paul Parker was dismissed by referee Dermot Gallagher, against his former club, for fouling Les Ferdinand, ensuring it finished 10 v 10.

United 2 QPR 0 Video

United 2 QPR 0

20 August 1994: The defending champions kicked off the 94/95 season by welcoming QPR to Old Trafford..


Played: 30. Won: 20. Drawn: 4. Lost: 6.

Leading scorers: Rooney 7, Beckham 4, Giggs 4, van Nistelrooy 4.

Most frequent opponents: Everton 3, Newcastle United 3.