Sep 12, 2017 at 7.45pm UK at ​Old Trafford
Attendance: 73,854
Man UtdManchester United
Fellaini (35'), Lukaku (53'), Rashford (84')
Young (38'), Blind (58')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Balanta (28'), Lang (61'), Xhaka (83')

Live Commentary: Manchester United 3-0 Basel - as it happened

Live Commentary: Manchester United 3-0 Basel - as it happened
© Offside
Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the Champions League clash between Manchester United and Basel from Old Trafford, which ended in a 3-0 home win.

Manchester United opened their 2017-18 Champions League Group A campaign with a 3-0 win over Swiss champions Basel at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

Marouane Fellaini came off the bench to open the scoring in the first period, before Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford netted after the break as the 20-time English champions secured a comfortable three points on their Champions League return.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.

6.46pmEvening all! Sports Mole's live Champions League coverage continues from Old Trafford as Manchester United welcome Swiss outfit Basel in Group A. Top-level European football is back at the Theatre of Dreams, and the Red Devils will be desperate to start in a positive fashion. Can Basel upset Jose Mourinho's return to the Champions League? Stay tuned to find out!

6.49pmThese two teams have met on four previous occasions in the Champions League, and both sides have recorded one win. Man United have actually failed to beat Basel in their two previous meetings at Old Trafford – drawing 1-1 in March 2003, and 3-3 in September 2011. It would be fair to say that the Red Devils do not have good memories of their last group-stage campaign involving Basel!

6.52pmRight, let me bring you up-to-speed with the all-important team news from Old Trafford. Has Mourinho made changes from the 2-2 draw with Stoke City in the Premier League? Let's have a look...

Paul Pogba reacts to his effort being saved during the Premier League game between Stoke City and Manchester United on September 9, 2017© Offside


UNITED: De Gea; Young, Smalling, Lindelof, Blind; Matic, Pogba; Mata, Mkhitaryan, Martial; Lukaku

BASEL: Vaclik; Akanji, Suchy, Balanta; Lang, Xhaka, Zuffi, Riveros; Steffen, Van Wolfswinkel, Elyounoussi

6.58pmJose Mourinho has made six changes to his XI from the draw with Stoke City at the weekend, with Anthony Martial and Juan Mata both coming into forward positions. There is also a completely new back four, with Ashley Young, Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling and Daley Blind all selected. Young comes in for his first appearance of the season, while Lindelof is given his Old Trafford debut due to suspensions for Eric Bailly and Phil Jones. Paul Pogba will skipper the 20-time English champions tonight.

7.02pmAs for Basel, former Norwich City striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel will lead the line for the visitors. Taulant Xhaka, who is the brother of Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka, also starts in what appears to be a 3-4-3 formation. Marek Suchy will captain the Swiss outfit, while there is also a spot in the team for Colombian centre-back Eder Alvarez Balanta. Serey Die, however, is still on the sidelines.

7.05pmSo there we have it. The two teams are in, and we are now just about 40 minutes from kickoff on this mild evening in Manchester. I shall speak about the away side a little bit later, but let's start with Man United, who are back in the Champions League after winning the Europa League last season.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan celebrates with teammates after scoring during the Europa League game between Manchester United and Anderlecht on April 20, 2017© SilverHub

7.08pmIt would be fair to say that the Europa League was not a priority competition for Man United at the start of last season, but it became very important after a disappointing Premier League campaign saw the club finish sixth. Victory over Ajax in the final sealed a return to the Champions League, and the Red Devils were drawn in Group A alongside Basel, Benfica and CSKA Moscow.

7.12pmAs mentioned, Man United last locked horns with Basel during the 2011-12 Champions League, and they failed to beat the Swiss side. Benfica were also a part of the English club's group during that season, and a total of nine points saw the Red Devils finish down in third position. The omens are not fantastic, but in truth, Man United really should be winning this section in comfortable fashion.

7.15pmThis is Man United's 21st appearance in the group stage of the Champions League, and only four times have they failed to make the next round. The three-time European champions are also unbeaten in their last 18 home European matches, which dates back to 2013 against Real Madrid.

Jose Mourinho winks during the Premier League game between Stoke City and Manchester United on September 9, 2017© SilverHub

7.18pmMourinho's side have also made a positive start to the 2017-18 campaign – beating West Ham United, Swansea City and Leicester City in their first three Premier League matches, before drawing 2-2 at Stoke on Saturday afternoon. A total of 10 points has left the 20-time English champions top of the table ahead of this weekend's home game against Everton.

7.22pmAs for Basel, the Swiss outfit are currently third in their domestic table after collecting 11 points from their first seven matches. They will enter this match off the back of a 2-1 home defeat to Lausanne Sport at the weekend, and are without a win in their last three in the league. That said, as mentioned, Basel are unbeaten on their two previous European trips to Old Trafford.


7.28pmBasel secured their spot in this season's Champions League after winning an eighth successive Swiss title last term. This is their eighth group-stage campaign, and their fourth in five years. Last year, they came fourth in Group A, managing just two points from six matches.

7.32pmWorryingly, Basel are without a victory in their last eight European matches – losing five times in the process. That run includes two defeats to Arsenal in last season's competition, while Basel have only been victorious on one of their previous 13 trips to Premier League opposition in Europe.


7.38pmPREDICTION! You have to fancy the home side tonight. Basel have some very talented footballers, and could well cause some problems to a new back four, but it would be a surprise if the Red Devils did not start their Group A campaign with a win. Kickoff is now just around the corner here!

7.42pmHere we go then - both sets of players have joined us on the pitch ahead of kickoff. Once the pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged, we will be ready to get the action underway. The famous Champions League tune returns to Old Trafford tonight.

0 minKICKOFF! Man United kick things off at Old Trafford...

2 min... it must be said that there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium tonight. It is a rainy night in Manchester to say the least, but the Man United supporters are in fine voice. As expected, the hosts have taken control of the early possession as they look to put down a marker early on here.

3 minCHANCES! Couple of early chances for Man United as a corner into the Basel box causes concern, but Lukaku has his shot blocked, before Martial fires over at the far post!

4 minYoung fires wide of the post from a deep position as Man United continue to put the pressure on in the early moments. Basel have already had to deal with a couple of corners at Old Trafford.

6 minBasel are struggling to get out at the moment as Man United continue to force the issue in the final third. Basel boss Wicky looks very smart on the touchline with his suit and glasses, but his team are under serious pressure in these early moments. Young has been heavily involved down the right.

8 minLukaku has been a willing runner in the early moments here, with the Belgian attempting to pull Balanta out of position. Martial has also been bright down the left as the Frenchman combines with Blind on a couple of occasions. Not too much from Basel in the opening eight minutes tonight.

9 minBetter from Basel as Elyounoussi wins a corner from Lindelof, but the set piece is cleared.

11 minPossession football for Man United at the moment as they retain the ball in a non-threatening area.

13 minBasel are very, very deep at the moment, which is making it difficult for Man United to find that pass in the final third of the field. The Red Devils are absolutely bossing the possession, but Basel are pretty comfortable as things stand. Mata has just had a low cross into the box cleared by Balanta.

14 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Man United as Mata clips a super pass into Mkhitaryan, but the Armenian heads over the crossbar from close range. Should be 1-0 to the hosts!

15 minSAVE! Vaclik drops down low to keep out a strike from Lukaku.

17 minElyounoussi has been bright for Basel inside the opening 18 minutes, with the attacker extremely comfortable in possession of the ball. Pogba looks to have a problem for Man United, meanwhile, after stretching his hamstring. That would be a big blow for the home side at this stage of the match.

18 minPogba is down, and he surely cannot continue here.

19 minIt is a hamstring for Pogba, and he will not be able to continue tonight.

19 minMAN UNITED SUB! Fellaini replaces Pogba for Man United.

21 minThat does not look great for Pogba, who could be facing a couple of weeks on the sidelines. The show must go on, however, and Man United are still dominating possession of the ball here.

21 minThat does not look great for Pogba, who could be facing a couple of weeks on the sidelines. The show must go on, however, and Man United are still dominating possession of the ball here.

22 minPOST! Wonderful chance for Man United as Lukaku finds Mkhitaryan inside the Basel box, but the midfielder's close-range effort hits the post, and Vaclik saves the second effort!

24 minBasel just cannot keep the ball at the moment as the home side continue to boss possession of the football. Surely it is only a matter of time before Man United make the breakthrough here.

26 minBasel manage to survive another period of extended pressure as Young fails to break past Lang in a wide position. Man United have done everything but score in the opening 26 minutes of this match. While we are at it, Benfica and CSKA Moscow are still goalless in Group A's other game tonight.

28 minBetter from Basel in the last couple of minutes as Balanta wins a corner from Fellaini, and the ball stays in and around the Man United box as Zuffi makes first contact. Just a few signs of frustration from the home supporters as the team in white enjoy a decent period in the final third of the field.

28 minBOOKING! Balanta (Basel) is booked for a poor challenge on Mkhitaryan.

31 minNot quite happening for Man United at the moment as Young looks for Lukaku but instead fires the ball straight out of play. Still goalless with little under 15 minutes of the first period to play here.

33 minBacks-against-the-wall defending from Basel as they continue to clear their lines. Man United are huffing and puffing in the final third of the field, but they cannot seem to blow the door down.

34 minCHANCE! The ball falls for Zuffi just inside the Man United box, but the number seven fires his effort wide of the post. Super chance for the visitors to shock the home side!

35 minGOAL! Man United 1-0 Basel (Fellaini)

36 minMan United make the breakthrough in the 35th minute as Fellaini rises high inside the Basel penalty box to head a Young cross into the back of the net! It had been coming for the hosts!

38 minBOOKING! Young (Man United) is booked for a late tackle on Van Wolfswinkel.

39 minCHANCE! Elyounoussi meets a super free kick from Steffen, but the attacker's effort is straight into the arms of De Gea, who stands still to make the save.

41 minPossession football for Man United in the latter stages of the first period.

43 minMkhitaryan has been wonderful for the home side in this first period, with the Armenian showing his passing range over the last couple of minutes. Basel need to be very careful here as they come under pressure in the final moments of the first half. The visitors cannot afford to concede a second.

45 min+1We are into the first of two additional minutes at the end of the first period.

45 min+2HALF-TIME: Man United 1-0 Basel

8.33pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to a close, with Man United leading 1-0 courtesy of a super header from Fellaini 10 minutes before the break. Basel have offered bits and pieces in the final third of the field, but the hosts deserve their lead at the interval here.

8.38pmSTATISTICS! Man United have dominated the possession with 70%, while they have managed 11 attempts - three of which were on target. Basel, meanwhile, hit the target with one of their four attempts in the opening 45 minutes. Two bookings to report - Young (38 min) and Balanta (28 min).

8.43pmBENCH WATCH! Man United have already been forced into a change tonight - Fellaini replacing Pogba, who pulled his hamstring in the early stages. Carrick, Lingard, Rashford and Valencia, however, are among those still available for Mourinho. As for Basel, the visitors have the likes of Calla, Fransson and Schmid in reserve. The Swiss champions need to offer more in the final third.

46 minRESTART! Basel resume the action here...

47 min... no changes from either side at the break, which is not too much of a surprise. However, I suspect that both managers will have alterations in mind as the second period develops here.

49 minYou just get the feeling that Basel cannot afford to concede a second goal here in order to have any realistic chance of avoiding defeat. At 1-0, there is always a chance, but a second for Man United would place the home side in a very strong position. The rain continues to hammer down here!

51 minVan Wolfswinkel breaks down the right for the away side, but the number nine cannot find a teammate inside the box, and Man United can resume with a Young throw-in here.

53 minNot an awful lot to report in terms of chances in the last few minutes, but Basel have started to see more of the ball in the final third of the field. Man United are vulnerable as long as it stays 1-0.

53 minSAVE! Vaclik has to push a low Martial effort wide of the post.

53 minGOAL! Man United 2-0 Basel (Lukaku)

54 minMan United double their lead in the 53rd minute as Lukaku rises highest inside the Basel box to head a Blind cross into the top corner. Super header from the big Belgian!

56 minIt must be said that the Basel supporters have been brilliant tonight. They remain in fine voice, despite their team's struggles at Old Trafford. Can the visitors find a route back into this match?!

58 minHalf-chance for Elyounoussi as the attacker finds space outside the Man United box, but his effort was always moving wide of the post. Little over 30 minutes of football remaining at Old Trafford.

58 minMAN UNITED SUB! Blind (Man United) is booked for a foul on Steffen.

61 minI wonder whether we will see Rashford in the final 25 minutes or so. Basel will not want to see the England international warming-up, that is for sure! The visitors continue to lift high balls into the Man United box, but Smalling is the latest player in a red shirt to rise highest inside the box.

61 minBOOKING! Lang (Basel) is booked for a foul on Martial.

62 minSAVE! Vaclik manages to tip a Lukaku header over the crossbar from close range!

64 minSAVE! Super save from De Gea this time as the Spaniard keeps out Elyounoussi, who had danced into a dangerous area inside the Man United box!

66 minBASEL SUB! Bua replaces Van Wolfswinkel, who has struggled tonight.

67 minCHANCE! Martial has a super chance to score Man United's third after meeting a low cross from Fellaini, but the Frenchman cannot turn towards goal!

68 minYoung sees his low strike turned wide of the post as Man United continue to force the issue.

70 minMAN UNITED SUB! Lingard replaces Martial for Man United.

72 minI would be surprised if we had seen the last of the goals at Old Trafford as Man United continue to force the issue in the final third of the field. Mata looks to find his teammates with a cross from the right, but the weight is too strong. Still 2-0 to the home side with 72 minutes on the clock.

74 minCarrick is on the Man United bench tonight, and I wonder whether we are going to see the Englishman in the latter stages of this match. The club captain is yet to appear this season.

75 minNo, we will not be seeing Carrick! Rashford is about to become Man United's third change.

77 minBASEL SUB! Riveros is replaced by Oberlin.

78 minMAN UNITED SUB! Rashford replaces Mata.

80 minLittle over 10 minutes of football remaining at Old Trafford, and Man United are very comfortable as they close on all three points. CSKA Moscow are currently 2-1 ahead at Benfica in Group A's other match.

80 minRashford fires his free kick into the stands.

82 minMore than enough time for Man United to find a third here as they continue to force the issue. Basel just cannot seem to keep hold of the ball at the moment. They have struggled badly here.

82 minBOOKING! Xhaka (Basel) is booked for a foul on Mkhitaryan.

84 minGOAL! Man United 3-0 Basel (Rashford)

85 minMan United score their third in the 84th minute as Rashford finishes at the far post after Fellaini had broken into the box and delivered into a super position! That is 3-0 to the home side!

88 minThe Basel supporters remain in fine voice as we approach the final stages of this match.

90 minBit scrappy at the moment as both teams wait for the fourth official to signal added time.

90 min+1We are into the first of two additional minutes at the end of the 90 here.

90 min+2FULL-TIME: Man United 3-0 Basel

9.35pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the second period to a close with Man United running out 3-0 winners over Basel at Old Trafford. Strong start to Group A for Mourinho's side! Thanks for joining Sports Mole for our live coverage once again. Until next time!

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