Low key start for Manchester United in Premier League campaign

Yoosof FarahSenior Writer IIIAugust 18, 2008

Manchester United got their Premier League campaign off to a low key start after drawing 1-1 with Newcastle United at Old Trafford yesterday.

It was Newcastle who took the lead against the reigning Premier League champions, when on 22 minutes Obafemi Martins' header found the back of the net, after James Milner's corner from the right. Martins escaped his man-marker, Darren Fletcher, and headed a powerful effort past Edwin van der Sar.

However, the Red Devils equalised just two minutes later. Darren Fletcher, who was at fault for the first, got on the end of a perfect floated cross by Ryan Giggs, and flicked the ball past Shay Given, who had a very good game despite conceding a goal, and even saved with his head following a shot from Paul Scholes.

Obafemi Martins and Fraizer Campbell both had chances to put their sides ahead after the interval, while Newcastle's new Argentine signing Jonas Gutierrez looked very impressive on his debut.

Man. United thought they had then won a penalty in stoppage-time, after ex-United favourite Nicky Butt hacked down Brazilian Rodrigo Possebon, but referee Mike Riley judged the offence happened outside the box, and subsequently gave United only a free-kick, which they failed to convert.

This meant the Red Devils could only get a draw from their opening league game, which is a well deserved point considering the injury problems they had, and considering how well the Newcastle defence performed, and goalkeeper Shay Given in particular.

Due to technical difficulties (lack of internet connection), this article has been published today instead of yesterday, when it was meant to be published.