Manchester United fans will have slept like a baby last night. The long-awaited return of the Champions League was an exciting one, and Jose Mourinho must have been pleased with the performance. The Red Devils won 3-0 in a convincing manner and more than deserved all three points.
The start literally couldn’t have gone any better, but Mourinho will know that his team has to put in displays like that every single week. This is just the beginning – because a squad as talented as Manchester United’s should be topping this group as a canter.
For now, though, let’s take a look at what we learned from the game against perennial Switzerland champions FC Basel.
Three things we learned during Manchester United’s 3-0 victory vs FC Basel
Marcus Rashford loves a debut goal
In the dying embers of the game, it didn’t look like Marcus Rashford was going to make his Champions League debut. However, the manager called upon the man from Wythenshawe with just ten minutes left on the clock. Then, the inevitable happened. The 19-year-old found the back of the net with a great effort that he kicked into the ground in order to get the required trajectory to beat the goalkeeper.
Rashford has now scored on his Europa League debut, his Premier League debut, Carling Cup debut, England debut, Manchester derby debut and now his Champions League debut. The man absolutely loves it, and it’d be great if Mourinho could teach him to play like that every single week!
Victor Lindelof still needs time
Victor Lindelof started the match, but it’s clear the Swede still needs time. That’s not to say he isn’t talented; because he quite clearly is. The 22-year-old gave us a real mixed bag in terms of his performance. At times he looked super, but on other occasions, the former SL Benfica man looked nervous.
What is encouraging is the fact that you can tell he has bags of talent. I also loved his willingness to carry the ball forward, coupled with a bravery he has when passing. He’s a proper modern-day centre-back and no doubt he’s learning every day in training. In time, he’ll succeed at the Theatre of Dreams.
Ashley Young’s return gives Manchester United another dimension
Ashley Young is underrated. There, I said it. This is a guy who can play pretty much anywhere on the field and he’ll do a sublime job. Let’s not forget that the Englishman hasn’t had any pre-season whatsoever and that was his first match of the season; he was absolutely outstanding.
He whipped in a superb cross for United’s opener, and down the right-hand side, he offered the Red Devils an outlet throughout. Jose Mourinho would have been pleased because he now knows that Young can be relied upon to play back-up to Antonio Valencia. I’d also like to see him start on the left-hand side of the defence, because I believe he offers much more than both Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian.