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First goal vital - Harry

Posted on 23 August 2011  - 12:00

Harry Redknapp felt we had a chance of winning our Premier League opener at Old Trafford on Monday night until United's first goal.

Harry Redknapp felt we had a chance of winning our Premier League opener at Old Trafford on Monday night - until United's first goal.

Danny Welbeck opened the scoring for the reigning champions on the hour mark and they turned the screw from that point, eventually running out 3-0 winners with further goals from Anderson and Wayne Rooney.

Until then, we more than held our own, especially in a fast and furious first half.

Brad Friedel - in for his full Spurs debut - made one fine save to deny Tom Cleverson and Ashley Young headed just wide but at the other end, Rafa van der Vaart, Niko Kranjcar and Gareth Bale all tested David De Gea in the United goal.

Friedel was much busier in the second half, not least when we pushed on looking for an equaliser after Welbeck's opener. United sealed it after 76 and 87 minutes.

"I felt we were right in the game and certainly at half-time, I thought it was a game that we had as much chance of winning as they did," reflected Harry.

"We were going well in the second half, no real problems, but we conceded a goal and then we opened up. That goal changed the game and gave them confidence.

"I brought Pavlyuchenko on, went with two up front, dropped Rafa into midfield, and then we looked very open.

"We were looking for an equaliser but we became too open and it was a problem.

"I took a chance, looking for a goal. Rafa might score, Pav might score, Defoe might score, we still had two wingers on. We were very open but at 1-0 down it was a case of trying to get an equaliser.

"I was delighted with us for 70 minutes but we opened up and that was it, really."

Meanwhile, Harry revealed that Kyle Walker had to be substituted at half-time due to illness.