Stephen Ward

Georgia 1-2 Republic of Ireland

Martin O’Neill’s first competitive game as Republic of Ireland manager ended in a 1-2 win over a spirited Georgia side. 

Aiden McGeady won the game for the Irish, hitting a brace, one in either half, his second coming in second half added time.

He gave the Irish the lead 24 minutes into the match but a stunning goal by Tornike Okriashvili 14 minutes later pegged them back.

Okriashvili, who plays his club football for Racing Genk in Belgium, hit a long range dipping shot past a despairing David Forde and for a while looked to ensure that the hosts would not finish their opening game empty handed.

It was not the case though as McGeady back with an impressive winner in the 90th minute – a clever turn of feet on the edge of the area and then accurately scoring with his left foot.

Ireland’s first came somewhat against the run of play, Jon Walters’ header from Forde’s goal kick set up James McCarthy who exploited a gap in the Georgian defence to tee up his Everton colleague.

McGeady then had the relatively simple task of finishing past Giorgi Loria in the Georgia goal.

AMG

Georgia: Loria (Kvaskhvadze ’45), Lobzhanidze, S Kverkvelia, Kashia, Khubutia, Kankava, Daushvili, Gelashvili, Ananidze (Targamadze ’63), Okriashvili (Mchedlidze ’88), D Kverkvelia

Subs not used: Migineishvili, Grigalava, Ebralidze, Khmaladze,  Kobakhidze, Kazaishvili, Dzarla, Rekhviashvili

Republic of Ireland: Forde, Coleman, O’Shea, Wilson, Ward, Walters, McCarthy (Meyler ’90), Whelan, Quinn (Brady ’76), McGeady, Keane (Long ’76)

Subs not used: Given, Elliot, Keogh, Pilkington, Pearce, Gibson, Hoolahan, Murphy, Doyle

Man of the match: Aiden McGeady

Burnley 0-0 Manchester United

Louis Van Gaal is still without his first win as Manchester United Manager as newly promoted side Burnley held the Red Devils to a 0-0 draw at Turf Moor.

British record signing Angel Di Maria played 70 minutes on his debut for his new club and showed signs of promise but was replaced by Anderson after the £59.7 million man picked up a knock.

It was a game of few clear cut chances but Burnley came close on a number of occasions.

David Jones struck the bar with a free-kick just three minutes in and two minutes later Lukas Jutkiewicz had a shot saved by David De Gea after seizing on a weak Jonny Evans back pass.

Robin Van Persie came closest for the visitors but saw his half volley in the area tipped out for a corner brilliantly by former United youth product Tom Heaton.

Di Maria’s intelligent lofted through ball picked out the Dutch forward who chested the ball down before striking it with power but Heaton was equal to it.

Jones also had a dipping volley palmed out for a corner by De Gea.

Manchester United felt they had two penalty shouts in the match turned down. In the first half Ashley Young was bundled over by Kieran Trippier in the box but Chris Foy adjudged there was no malice in the challenge. Young’s reputation for diving may have gone against him.

Late on in the second half, shouts of “penalty” were heard again as the ball struck the hand of Ashley Barnes from Young’s shot not deliberately in the eyes of Foy.

Neither team created enough opportunities to be worthy of the right to claim they deserved the three points. Burnley defended in numbers well but were unable to break through a United defense that had been largely called into question in recent weeks.

Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Arfield, Jones, Marney, Taylor (Reid ’88), Ings (Barnes ’78), Jutkiewicz

Subs not used: Gilks, Ward, Long, Wallace, Sordel

Manchester United: De Gea, Jones, Evans, Blackett, Valencia, Young, Fletcher, Di Maria (Anderson ’70), Mata (Januzaj ’87), Rooney, Van Persie (Welbeck ’73)

Subs not used: Amos, Keane, James, Hernandez

Man of the match: David Jones