Romelu Lukaku scored his first UEFA Champions League goal as Manchester United cruised to a 3-0 win over FC Basel at Old Trafford.
Champions League action returned to Old Trafford as Manchester United took on FC Basel in round one of the 2017/2018 campaign.
The hosts were up and running early after a flowing move saw Juan Mata delivering a beautiful cross to find Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the Basel box but the midfielders header went over the crossbar.
United were dealt a blow when star midfielder Paul Pogba was substituted due to injury and was replaced by Marouane Fellaini.
Jose Mourinho’s men were in the mood to play and some neat interplay led to Romelu Lukaku’s cutback being well-struck by Mkhitaryan but his effort hit the upright and the rebound was saved by Tomas Vaclik in the Basel goal.
The breakthrough eventually came for United as Ashley Young’s cross was met by a strong header from first half substitute Fellaini to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
FC Basel rarely challenged the Manchester United rearguard and the hosts held on to their lead going into the halftime break.
The visitors started the second half the stronger and were knocking on the United door early on.
Much against the run of play United used the wide route and Daley Blind delivered a pinpoint cross to find Romelu Lukaku and the Belgian international headed home to double his side’s lead.
David De Gea who had little to do in the game was called to action in the second half after a brilliantly curled effort from Mohamed Elyounoussi was parried over the bar by the United shot stopper.
Another good piece of play by United mesmerized the FC Basel defense and was beautifully finished off by Marcus Rashford who had just come on off the bench to seal all three points for Jose Mourinho’s men.
Champions League: the typical team of the 4th day
On the 4th day of the Champions League group stage, the FM Writing team concocted its team. An eleven where stand out three French, including two rather unexpected.
And four for the Champions League! The hour of money-time has come soon for clubs that have not yet managed to qualify. But that’s not what interests us here. The FM editorial has chosen its eleven types of the brightest players of the 4th day of the European competition. There are two French, who have managed to make their mark.
Silvio Proto (Olympiacos Piraeus): the performance is rare enough to be reported. The Belgian goalkeeper of Olympiacos has managed, with his defense, preserve his inviolable cage against the attack of FC Barcelona Tuesday (0-0). The goalkeeper of the Hellenic formation has increased the decisive stops against Nelson Semedo (3rd), Lionel Messi (20th, 28th, 89th, 90th + 1) and Luis Suarez (80th).
Alessandro Florenzi (AS Roma): Since the retirement of Francesco Totti, he is, with Daniele De Rossi, the soul of AS Roma. International azzurro again proved Tuesday against Chelsea (3-0). Opposite most often Eden Hazard and Marcos Alonso in his area, the right side perfectly accomplished his task, not hesitating to project forward to lend a hand to Stephan El Shaarawy. Solid.
Clément Lenglet (Sevilla FC): the central defender trained at AS Nancy Lorraine is making great strides in Spain. Against Spartak Moscow (2-1), he once again delivered a quality game, extinguishing without difficulty his direct opponent of the evening, the Brazilian Luiz Adriano. Better, the French opened his goal counter in the Champions League, putting his team on the road to success of a header at the far post (30th).
John Stones (Manchester City): the English center, severely criticized last season, makes an almost perfect start to the season. His performance Wednesday night in Naples (2-4), is part of this lineage. Strong in the duels and fit for recovery, the defender of the Three Lions was even his goal, served by Leroy Sané (48th). His association with Nicolas Otamendi, also a scorer against the Neapolitans, begins to bear fruit.
Layvin Kurzawa (Paris SG): in the space of 25 minutes and three goals scored (52nd, 72nd and 78th), the Parisian left-back, not frankly spared by critics for several months, responded to his critics. He did not fail to recall it on one of his celebrations, finger on the mouth. His offensive performance will forget his few defensive largesse in the first period.
João Moutinho (AS Monaco): The Portuguese was simply the best side ASM Wednesday in Istanbul. Lucid ball to the foot, it is he who gives the ball to his countryman Rony Lopes end of the first period (45th +1). The Lusitanian midfielder has increased the defensive efforts without his offensive contribution suffers, as proved by the quality of his set pieces.
Fabinho (AS Monaco): A few hours before the match in Istanbul, against Besiktas (1-1), the Brazilian explained that he did not want to go to the clash to leave this summer. Monaco can thank him because, against the Turks, the midfielder has regained his influence from last season. Aggressive, dynamic, enterprising and serene, the former Real Madrid confirms his great return to form.
Christian Eriksen (Tottenham): the playmaker Spurs, the momentum of his last months of high level, regaled against Real Madrid (3-1). At ease in his passing game and always available for his partners, the Dane even turned into scorer, on a pass from his scorer Harry Kane (65), to ruin the last hopes merengues. Very good.
Marlos (Shakhtar Donetsk): If the Ukrainians Shakhtar are in a favorable tie to qualify for the round of 16 of C1, they owe it in part to the talent and inspiration of their Brazilian. Against Feyenoord Rotterdam (3-1), the Auriverde has indeed offered a double (17th, 68th). Vivid and dribbler, already in high profile against Naples, he was able to be decisive against the Dutch to make the difference.
Dele Alli (Tottenham): two goals (27th and 56th), an activity overflowing and English is on everyone’s lips this Thursday. It must be said that the resident of Tottenham chose his match at home against Real Madrid (3-1) to shine. Always well placed between the middle and defense merengue, it was a poison for the people of Madrid and could even have gone from his triplet if he had had a little more success. « A nightmare » for the Spaniards, « a blessing » for Londoners.
Stephan El Shaarawy (AS Roma): Not always indisputable since the beginning of the exercise, he Faraone proved that he could make proud service to the club Louve. The Italian striker, who has not been successful with AS Monaco, has distinguished himself by his incessant activity on his right wing against Chelsea (3-0), adding to his copy a doubled (1st and 36th), of which half – splendid flight of 20 meters to open the score.
The four teams already qualified for the Champions League round of 16
After just four-game weeks, four teams have already booked their place in the round of 16 of Europe’s elite competition.
Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich, who both secured their place in the next round on Tuesday, were joined by English sides Manchester City and Tottenham after their two impressive victories on Wednesday.
Sergio Aguero’s record-breaking goal topped off a triumphant night in Napoli for Manchester City, while Tottenham, against all odds, emerged victorious against reigning champions Real Madrid.
However, none of the four are yet to guarantee top spot in their respective groups. PSG and Bayern will fight it out in Group B, while Manchester City still have Shakhtar Donetsk to deal with and Real can still catch Spurs.
Video: Salah leads the way in Liverpool win with a great goal against Maribor
Liverpool had to wait till the second half to score and they did so in style thanks to a superb goal from Salah. The Merseyside team went on to score two more goals to beat Maribor by 3-0. The result moves Liverpool to the top of the group with eight points.
See the goal that Salah scored:
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