Manchester United 3-0 FC Basel

Marouane Fellaini heads in for Manchester United

Manchester United made a winning return to the Champions League with a deserved home victory over Swiss side Basel.

Marouane Fellaini, who came on for the injured Paul Pogba in the first half, rose highest to head United ahead from an Ashley Young cross with 10 minutes to go to the break.

Romelu Lukaku strengthened their grip on the encounter by converting from among a group of players in the box from a Daley Blind cross following a short corner.

Marcus Rashford fired in his side’s third from a Fellaini low cross seven minutes after coming on. The striker has now scored in 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, making their first appearance in Europe’s premier club competition since 2015, having qualified by winning the Europa League in May.

They created numerous clear-cut chances, the best of which Henrikh Mkhitaryan side-footed against the post from close range after being found by a Lukaku cut-back.

Basel were pinned back in their own half for much of the game but could have forced a different outcome had Luca Zuffi not fired wide from an unmarked position in the box just before Fellaini’s opener.

Mohamed Elyounoussi also forced David De Gea into a fine save with a rising shot from inside the box as the visitors became more ambitious in the final quarter of the match.

In the other game in Group A, CSKA Moscow beat Benfica 2-1 in Portugal.

Fellaini proves his worth again

Champions League group A<!–

Before the game, United boss Jose Mourinho told reporters that he felt “weaker” without Fellaini in his squad.

The manager would rather not have had to call on him quite so early, with the Belgium midfielder coming on just 19 minutes in after Pogba suffered a hamstring injury.

It is a testament to Fellaini’s display that United did not break stride following the loss of the in-form France international.

Fellaini was strong and accurate in the tackle, neat with his passing and once again illustrated his aerial prowess with the opener.

After starting the ball rolling for his side, he turned provider late on with an incisive pull-back to set Rashford up for the third goal.

Depending on the severity of Pogba’s injury, United may need Fellaini now more than ever.

Another first for Rashford

Average player positions<!–

Rashford is making it impossible for Mourinho to leave him out of the United side.

Having started three of his side’s four Premier League matches to date this season, the England forward was left out to allow Anthony Martial a turn from the start.

Shortly after being introduced, he once again demonstrated his awareness of an impending opportunity and ability to locate space in which to capitalise, darting into the box to dispatch Fellaini’s cross.

His connection wasn’t the truest, but it was enough to carry the ball past Tomas Vaclik.

It was his third goal of the campaign, the third game in succession in which he has scored and another debut goal to further underline his status as one of the most natural finishers in the English game.

Man of the match – Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United)

Marouane Fellaini<!–

United unbeaten at home in a year – the key stats

  • Manchester United are unbeaten in 32 successive home games in all competitions (W21 D11 L0) and have not lost at Old Trafford for a year, since 10 September 2016. This is their best unbeaten home run since October 2011 (37 games).
  • Marouane Fellaini’s goal was the 100th scored by a Belgian player in the Champions League (excluding own goals).
  • His strike was also his 50th in English club football (33 for Everton, 17 for Man Utd).
  • Fellaini’s goal was the earliest by a substitute for Manchester United in the Champions League since Ryan Giggs on 25 February 2003 against Juventus, which came after 15 minutes.
  • Romelu Lukaku became the 13th player to score on their Champions League debut for Manchester United.
  • This was the first time that two Belgians have scored for the same team in a Champions League game since 23 October 2002 (Club Brugge v Galatasaray).
  • Marcus Rashford is the fourth English teenager to score a Champions League goal for Manchester United after David Beckham, Wayne Rooney and Phil Jones.

Line-ups

Man Utd

  • 1de Gea
  • 18YoungBooked at 38mins
  • 2Lindelöf
  • 12Smalling
  • 17BlindBooked at 58mins
  • 6PogbaSubstituted forFellainiat 19′minutes
  • 31Matic
  • 8MataSubstituted forRashfordat 77′minutes
  • 22Mkhitaryan
  • 11MartialSubstituted forLingardat 69′minutes
  • 9R Lukaku

Substitutes

  • 14Lingard
  • 16Carrick
  • 19Rashford
  • 20Romero
  • 25A Valencia
  • 27Fellaini
  • 36Darmian

Basel

  • 1Vaclik
  • 36Akanji
  • 17Suchy
  • 23BalantaBooked at 28mins
  • 5LangBooked at 61mins
  • 34XhakaBooked at 82mins
  • 7Zuffi
  • 25Riveros GaleanoSubstituted forOberlinat 77′minutes
  • 11Steffen
  • 9van WolfswinkelSubstituted forBuaat 66′minutes
  • 24Elyounoussi

Substitutes

  • 4Sayed Gaber
  • 13Salvi
  • 15Fransson
  • 19Oberlin
  • 31Schmid
  • 33Bua
  • 39Callà
Referee:
Ruddy Buquet

Match Stats

Home TeamMan UtdAway TeamBasel
Possession
Home60%
Away40%
Shots
Home18
Away8
Shots on Target
Home8
Away2
Corners
Home7
Away3
Fouls
Home12
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester United 3, Basel 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester United 3, Basel 0.

Offside, Manchester United. Romelu Lukaku tries a through ball, but Henrikh Mkhitaryan is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Mohamed Elyounoussi (Basel) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Éder Balanta.

Foul by Victor Lindelöf (Manchester United).

Dimitri Oberlin (Basel) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Marek Suchy.

Offside, Basel. Mohamed Elyounoussi tries a through ball, but Dimitri Oberlin is caught offside.

Foul by Jesse Lingard (Manchester United).

Manuel Akanji (Basel) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester United 3, Basel 0. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner.

Jesse Lingard (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Manuel Akanji (Basel).

Booking

Taulant Xhaka (Basel) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Taulant Xhaka (Basel).

Foul by Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United).

Taulant Xhaka (Basel) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right from a direct free kick.

Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Manuel Akanji (Basel).

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Marcus Rashford replaces Juan Mata.

Substitution

Substitution, Basel. Dimitri Oberlin replaces Blás Riveros.

Ashley Young (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Éder Balanta (Basel).

Foul by Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United).

Taulant Xhaka (Basel) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United).

Kevin Bua (Basel) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Jesse Lingard replaces Anthony Martial.

Attempt missed. Mohamed Elyounoussi (Basel) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Blás Riveros with a cross.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Tomás Vaclik.

Attempt saved. Ashley Young (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Juan Mata.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Mohamed Elyounoussi.

Attempt blocked. Chris Smalling (Manchester United) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Henrikh Mkhitaryan with a cross.

Daley Blind (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Renato Steffen (Basel).

Attempt missed. Anthony Martial (Manchester United) left footed shot from very close range misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Basel. Kevin Bua replaces Ricky van Wolfswinkel.

Anthony Martial (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

goal

BBC Sport – Football

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