Manchester United eased back into Champions League life as Marouane Fellaini, Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford put Basle to the sword.

Last season was just the second time in 22 years that the three-time European champions were without a place at the continent’s top table, but May’s Europa League triumph brought a much-needed return.

United’s first Champions League match in 644 days ended in a straightforward Old Trafford victory as substitute Fellaini, in-form Lukaku and substitute Rashford kicked off Group A with a 3-0 win against Basle.

What they said

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho: “To start with three points at home is always important. We played quite well but after 2-0 everything changed. Probably the players felt the game was under control at 2-0 but football is football, you have to respect opponents.”

Basle head coach Raphael Wicky: “Losing 3-0 to Manchester United is not something you can be happy with, but I’m not disappointed with my team, I’m disappointed by the result. We can learn from this.”

Tweet of the match

Star man – Marouane Fellaini

On for the injured Paul Pogba after 19 minutes, Fellaini showed just why Jose Mourinho rates him so highly. The Belgium midfielder headed United into a deserved lead and, having impressed both defensively and offensively, provided the assistant for Rashford’s late goal.

Moment of the match

Until Tuesday evening, Lukaku’s only Champions League experience was a third-round qualifying appearance against Wales’ TNS and three play-off matches from his days as a teenager at Anderlecht. The 24-year-old has been desperate to try his luck against the continent’s best and, while there are tougher tests to come, it was clear how much his first group-stage goal meant after heading home in the 53rd minute.

Stats of the match

Marcus Rashford has scored on his Premier League, League Cup, Champions League and Europa League debuts for United, as well as his England senior and Under-21s bows. Basle have now gone nine European matches without a win, stretching back to February 25, 2016 – the day Rashford made his Manchester United debut against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League.


Manchester United: David De Gea 7, Ashley Young 8, Victor Lindelof 7, Chris Smalling 7, Daley Blind 7, Paul Pogba 6, Nemanja Matic 7, Juan Mata 6, Henrikh Mkhitaryan 6, Anthony Martial 7, Romelu Lukaku 8. Subs: Marouane Fellaini (for Pogba, 19) 8, Jesse Lingard (for Martial, 69) 6, Marcus Rashford (for Mata, 77) 7.

Basle: Tomas Vaclik 7, Manuel Akanji 6, Marek Suchy 6, Eder Balanta 6, Michael Lang 6, Taulant Xhaka 6, Luca Zuffi 6, Blas Riveros 7, Renato Steffen 6, Mohamed Elyounoussi 7, Ricky van Wolfswinkel 6. Subs: Kevin Bua (for van Wolfswinkel, 66) 6, Dimitri Oberlin (for Riveros, 77) 6.

Who’s up next?

Manchester United v Everton (Premier League, Sunday 17 September)Chiasso v Basle (Schweizer Pokal, Sunday 17 September)