Manchester United have started the defence of their Premier League crown with a 1-0 victory over Birmingham City. Wayne Rooney scored the only goal of the game and United also had the chances to make it more than two.
United started the game brightly and Rooney found the net in the 34th minute. The England striker was involved in the build up linking with Dimitar Berbatov, who found Portuguese winger Nani down the left flank.
The wingers cross found Rooney whose header struck the post, fortunately for the striker the ball came back to him and he tapped home the rebound. Birmingham came straight back at United, Cameron Jerome’s effort hitting Paul Scholes and going for a corner. From the corner French defender Franck Queudrue headed towards goal and was only denied by Patrice Evra standing on the line.
Scottish midfielder Darren Fletcher also missed a good opportunity, firing wide when well placed. Rooney came close to doubling United’s lead with a spectacular effort from 30 yards, which was superbly saved by Birmingham keeper Joe Hart.
Birmingham substitute Christian Benitez came close to a debut goal with a superb low effort, which was brilliantly saved by United keeper Ben Foster. United substitute Michael Owen thought he had scored on his home debut, only to see his effort ruled out for offside. Owen then had another chance to score in injury-time, the former Newcastle striker running through one-one with City keeper Hart, but the on-loan keeper denied him. In the end the one goal was enough for the champions.