Romelu Lukaku kept up the impressive start to his Manchester United career by scoring the second goal in a 3-0 win over Basel on the opening night of the Champions League today.
Since joining from Everton for 75 million pounds in the offseason, the Belgium striker has scored in the UEFA Super Cup on his competitive debut, two goals on his first start in the Premier League, and now on his first appearance in the Champions League group stage.
Marouane Fellaini, on as a 19th-minute substitute for the injured Paul Pogba, opened the scoring with a close-range header in the 35th before Lukaku climbed between two defenders to nod home in the 53rd. It was Lukaku's sixth goal in six appearances for United.
Substitute Marcus Rashford completed the win in the 77th minute, scuffing a shot into the ground and over the goalkeeper.
United manager Jose Mourinho said the club, a three-time European champion, was back in its "natural habitat" after being absent from the Champions League last season. United only qualified for Europe's top competition by winning the Europa League in May and this was a gentle introduction to Group A. Basel, the Swiss champion for the last eight years, offered little resistance on a rainy evening at Old Trafford.
The negative for Mourinho was the sight of Pogba - United's captain for the match in the absence of Antonio Valencia - hobbling off with an apparent left hamstring injury, sustained as he went in for a challenge. The France midfielder tried to carry on but fell to the ground in pain.
Pogba had two short spells out with hamstring problems in the second half of last season.
United didn't end up missing Pogba too badly, with Fellaini making an impact as his replacement - a day after Mourinho said the tall midfielder was "a lot more important than you can imagine."
Davide Zappacosta surged down the field past two defenders before striking into the net for an audacious goal on his full debut as Chelsea marked its return to the Champions League with a 6-0 victory over Qarabag in Group C.
Zappacosta, a deadline-day wing back signing from Torino, caught goalkeeper Ibrahim Sehic off guard with his 30th-minute cross-shot as the 2012 champions cruised to a club-record equaling victory in the competition after a season-long absence.
It was an uncomfortable introduction to the Champions League group stage for Qarabag, the defensively feeble Azerbaijan champions who first conceded after five minutes when Pedro Rodriguez bent the ball past Sehic.
Cesar Azpilicueta headed Chelsea further in front 10 minutes into the second half after being left unmarked to meet Cesc Fabregas' cross.
Just like Zappacosta, Tiemoue Bakayoko marked his Champions League debut for Chelsea with a goal in the 71st minute after coming off the bench.
Bakayoko turned provider for Michy Batshuayi to score, and the rout was completed by Zappacosta also setting up Batshuayi to send in the sixth off Maksim Medvedev.
The game at Stamford Bridge provided all the goals in Group C as Roma and Atletico Madrid drew 0-0 in the Italian capital.