Man United beat Basel comfortably at home, as they made a winning return to the Champions League.
United were always going to dominate possession, but it was all about turning that possession into goals. Henrick Mkhitaryan came close early on with a header which went over.
Soon after that, Paul Pogba went down with a hamstring injury, with Marouane Fellaini coming on for him. Pogba’s injury will be a blow to United, as he could be out for more than a month.
Mkhitaryan missed another great chance to put United in front. After Romelu Lukaku had gone past his man, he squared it to Mkhitaryan, whose first shot was saved onto the post by the keeper, and his follow-up was blocked.
Basel hardly threatened all match, but they nearly took the lead, with Luca Zuffi firing wide from an unmarked position in the box.
In the 35th minute, United took the lead through Fellaini. From Ashley Young’s cross on the right, Fellaini jumped highest to head home. He showed that United won’t have to miss Pogba too much.
Mourinho had said earlier in the weak that he feels “weaker” without Fellaini and his performance in this game would’ve supported Mourinho’s claim.
In the second half, United continued to dominate and Anthony Martial forced the keeper into a save, with a deflected shot which bounced up. From the resulting corner, United doubled their lead.
Daley Blind played a one-two from a corner, before crossing into the box. Lukaku rose highest to head home. It was Lukaku’s Champions League debut.
Basel came very close to scoring after that goal. Mohamed Elyounoussi turned Victor Lindelof, before firing towards the roof of the net but, David de Gea pulled off a fantastic save to thwart him.
Marcus Rashford finished off the scoring in the 84th minute. From Fellaini’s pull-back, Rashford fired home. He has now scored on his first appearance in the Champions League, Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup, League Cup and for England.
The scoreline could have been even greater for Jose Mourinho’s dominant side, but they will be satisfied that they managed to get the 3 points on their first appearance in the Champions League since 2015.
Even though Fellaini has been very poor in the past, I have to admit that United won’t be that much worse with him in the team instead of Pogba.
In the other game in Group A, CSKA Moscow beat Benfica 2-1 in Portugal. Next up for United in the Champions League is a trip to CSKA Moscow on Wednesday, the 27 September.
Next up for United domestically is a home game against Everton, where Wayne Rooney will return to the club where he is the club’s all-time top goalscorer. Hopefully we can carry on our good form with 3 points.