Ratings: Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini shows their worth in Manchester United victory

Manchester United won their first opening European group stage match since David Moyes managed the club. FC Basel were dispatched by three great goals scored by Marouane Fellaini, assisted by Ashley Young and a sixth goal in six matches for Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku, assisted by Daley Blind and a sublime finish by Marcus Rashford who capitalised through Fellaini’s cut back which was deflected into his path, the England striker clipping the ball over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.

It was a sour start in the UEFA Champions League for Jose Mourinho as he lost midfielder Paul Pogba in the 19th after he seemingly suffered a hamstring injury, which would see him on the sidelines for a matter of weeks, which has not yet been confirmed. United did do what they needed to do though, with the players getting the better of their Swiss opposition.

United took control of their first Champions League match at Old Trafford since the 25th November 2015, scoring three goals at the Theatre of Dreams in the competition, the first time in the group stage proper since the 4-2 victory over Bayer Leverkusen in the opening during the 2013/14 season which las saw United reach the knockout stages of the tournament.

Goals: Marouane Fellaini 35′, Romelu Lukaku 53′, Marcus Rashford 84′

Assists: Ashley Young 35′, Daley Blind 53′,

Manchester United: De Gea; Young, Smalling, Lindelof, Blind; Matic, Pogba (Fellaini 19′); Mata (Rashford 77′), Mkhitaryan, Martial (Lingard 69′); Lukaku

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Valencia, Darmian; Carrick

Bookings: Ashley Young 38′, Daley Blind 58′

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish goalkeeper did not really have a lot to do against Basel with only seven shots on goal, two of which were on target. De Gea did make a good save of one of those shots on target.


18 Ashley Young

The United veteran and captain after Pogba came off injured was lucky not to have been booked early on in the match, receiving a booking just before the end of the first half. Provided a great cross which saw Fellaini score the opening goal of the evening.


Chris Smalling

Not the main starter in the centre of defence for me, somewhat a liability at times. Did what he needed to do against Basel which was enough.


2 Victor Lindelof

Lindelof was given his chance to shine after some praise prior to the match by manager Jose Mourinho. Lindelof will have raised his confidence level ahead of his career at his new clob but defensively, United just were not tested.


17 Daley Blind

The Dutch defender was quite solid in his display against the Swiss side at Old Trafford, did what he needed to do in his position and provided Lukaku with an accurate pass to score the second goal of the game.


31 Nemanja Matic

His Champions League debut for United and just like his many matches before, did what he needed to do to ensure United got the result they needed. His tackles were timed to perfection, something which United can rely on this season and into the future.


6 Paul Pogba

Pogba's match was ended in the 19th minute after the player seemed to have overstretched his hamstring and could not continue. Pogba was replaced by Marouane Fellaini.


8 Juan Mata

The Spanish midfielder offered much of the experience in the team this evening, played well at times but was on the fringes of the play for much of the game. He was replaced by Rashford with 13 minutes left to play.


22 Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Mkhitaryan played well and could have bagged himself a goal, but his finishing was awful. Mkhitaryan needs to raise his game, especially with Pogba likely to be on the sidelines for a few weeks, with him likely to be tasked with the creative role in midfield, which may be too much for him.


9 Anthony Martial

The Frenchman posed a threat for Basel but on the left he was often isolated which was not the best for him or United. Mourinh will be impressed with how he played which could see him in contention this weekend against Everton.


Romelu Lukaku

The United striker scored his sixth goal in six matches for United, putting his club 2-0 in the second half of the match. United now have a striker worthy of leading the line and one who will take his chances and find the back of the net more often than not, as this season has shown so far.



27 Marouane Fellaini

Replaced Pogba. Got stuck into the game in a box-to-box way, broke the deadlock from a header assisted by Ashley Young in the 35th minute of the match. The last two European goals scored at Old Trafford were both scored by the Belgian.


14 Jesse Lingard

Replaced Martial. Got involved in the game but did nothing notable. Many will still disrespect him, but he can create and score some crucial goals.


10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Mata. Seven minutes into his cameo he scored United's third goal of the evening and his first in the Champions League. He likes scoring on debuts this lad.


Starting XI: Lindelof and Smalling start; Mkhitaryan, Mata and Martial play behind Lukaku,

Manchester United return to the UEFA Champions League at Old Trafford this evening, taking on FC Basel of Switzerland. It has been two years since United last participated in an opening group stage match in the Champions League and thanks to United lifting the UEFA Europa League last season, that is possible once again. United may not be strong enough to win the competition, based on the defeat to Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup last month, but that should not stop them from getting back into the swing of things in the competition that they should be playing in. Who knows how far they will go this season. Jose Mourinho will be without both Eric Bailly and Phil Jones this evening due to suspension and will utilise both Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof in defence with David De Gea on goal. Here is the sought after team news for this evening’s match:

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Young, Smalling, Lindelof, Blind;

Matic, Pogba;

Mata, Mkhitaryan, Martial;



Romero; Valencia, Darmian; Lingard, Carrick, Fellaini; Rashford

United last played Basel in the Champions League back in 2011, exiting the group stage that season and falling into the Europa League, where United got through Ajax but could not get past Athletic Bilbao, the team United signed Ander Herrera from. This evening, it will be important for United to get three points in the bag at the start of their Champions League campaign.

copyright: JW