Man United off to promising start

Holders edge out West Bromwich

United opened the scoring in the 13th minute, when Wayne Rooney combined well with winger Ashley Young before sending a left-footed shot into the bottom right corner.

The hosts levelled through debutant Shane Long, who made the most of United keeper David De Gea’s lack of conviction, before Young masterminded a winner that West Brom defender Steven Reid deflected into his own net in the 81st minute.

United did what none of their main rivals could this weekend after Chelsea drew 0-0 at Stoke City on Sunday, and Arsenal and Liverpool also managed only a point apiece in their openers on Saturday.

Alex Ferguson’s side struggled away from home last season, picking up just 25 points from a possible 57 on their way to a record 19th title, and started the game in a lively fashion that suggested they were keen to travel better this term. Their main negative from the match was injuries picked up by centre backs Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, who Ferguson said were facing six and two weeks on the sidelines respectively.

Those blows came hours after United said fellow defender Rafael would be out of action for 10 weeks after dislocating his shoulder.

Goalkeeping was also an issue for Chelsea on Sunday, as they were held 0-0 at Stoke City thanks to some excellent saves by Stoke’s Asmir Begovic.

Following a muted first half, Chelsea picked up the pace after the break with John Obi Mikel, substitute Nicolas Anelka and Salomon Kalou all testing Begovic's reflexes.

Striker Fernando Torres was behind many of the Chelsea moves, dribbling past defenders with a confidence last seen in his best Liverpool days.

As well as being denied by Begovic’s acrobatics, in particular when he tipped Mikel’s long-range volley over the bar and Anelka’s curling shot against the woodwork, Chelsea were also frustrated that their appeals for penalties were ignored.

Manchester City host Swansea City on Monday, seeking to match United’s pace.

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