Manchester United kicked off their 2017-18 UEFA Champions League campaign with a comfortable 3-0 win at home to FC Basel this evening.
Headed goals from Marouane Fellaini and Romelu Lukaku in either half were enough to see off the Swiss champions who only threatened after falling two behind. Marcus Rashford came off the bench to score a late third to put us top of the group after the first game.
One piece of bad news for us was that Paul Pogba went off with an apparent hamstring injury in the opening 20 minutes.
Here’s how our players performed:
David de Gea 7
Produced a fine save to deny Mohamed Elyounoussi just after the hour. The resulting corner was cleared this time. Otherwise David de Gea was hardly tested.
Ashley Young 8
Excellent going forward and produced a delicious cross from which Marouane Fellaini opened the scoring. Ashley Young created the space for himself with two defenders in front of him. In what was his first start of the season he got forward well from right-back and was excellent at the back too, keeping Basel quiet.
Victor Lindelof 7
Couple of shaky moments and didn’t look too strong defensively. His positional play certainly looks questionable. Victor Lindelof was composed on the ball but ultimately Basel didn’t offer much of a test.
Chris Smalling 8
Solid, composed performance. Ricky van Wolkswinkel was never going to cause Chris Smalling any problems, was he?
Daley Blind 8
Produced the cross after a short corner from which Romelu Lukaku ensured three points with his close-range header.
Nemanja Matic 8
Usual solid game in centre midfield that we’re used to now; Nemanja Matic saw a lot of possession and looked after it very well. Had little work to do defensively so helped start attacks in the absence of Pogba.
Paul Pogba 5
Was only on the field for 19 minutes due to injury and didn’t have much time to get into the slow starting game. Will be upset after being handed the captain’s armband for the first time.
Juan Mata 7
Saw a lot of the ball, created a couple of chances but not involved in either goal. Juan Mata’s crosses didn’t pick out his teammates this evening but otherwise there was nothing to worry about from the Spaniard.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan 6
A sloppy performance in the number 10 role this time from Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Armenian did create a couple of chances and tested the Basel goalkeeper himself but often found himself being surrounded by the opposition. There were a few too many loose passes in there too, one of note leading to Basel’s best opportunity on 63 minutes.
Anthony Martial 6
Made a couple of runs but otherwise nothing significant from Anthony Martial who didn’t have his shooting boots on tonight and was replaced midway through the second half.
Romelu Lukaku 8
Romelu Lukaku held the ball up well in the rain tonight to bring his teammates into play, and like all good strikers he was able to get on the scoresheet.
Marouane Fellaini 9 – Excellent performance from the early substitute who opened the scoring with a fine header, saw a lot of possession and got stuck in on the opposition.
Jesse Lingard 5 – Came on midway through the second half but didn’t do anything significant.
Marcus Rashford 7 – Only on the field for quarter-of-an-hour but it was enough time for Marcus Rashford to get on the scoresheet once again. The 19-year-old has now scored on his Premier League, Europa League, EFL Cup, England and Champions League debut.
CSKA Moscow were 2-1 winners at Benfica in the other Group A match.