Champions League | United, Chelsea, and Barcelona start campaigns with comfortable wins

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Champions League | United, Chelsea, and Barcelona start campaigns with comfortable wins

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SportsCafe Desk

09/13/2017

Manchester United and Chelsea started their Champions League campaigns with convincing wins - United putting three past Basel while Chelsea scoring an incredible six against Qarabag. Meanwhile, in the first high profile game of the season, a Lionel Messi brace saw Barcelona thrash Juventus 3-0. 

Making their return to the Champions League, Chelsea put up a show at Stamford Bridge scoring six against European minnows Qarabag. Even though Chelsea decided to rest several first-team players, Pedro's fifth-minute curler was just a sign of things to come. Davide Zappacosta then made it 2-0 with a cross-cum-shot, after a 50-yard dash down the right wing, that Ibrahim Sehic failed to get his hand on. The second half proved to be more of the same as Cesar Azpilicueta got his name on the sheet with a header from a Cesc Fabregas cross. Tiemoue Bakayoko then made it 4-0 with his first goal in Chelsea blue. Michy Batshuayi then scored one and forced an own goal from Maksim Medvedev to hand Chelsea an early lead in a group that includes Atletico Madrid and AS Roma, who ended up playing out the only goalless draw of the night.

United produced a dominating performance against Swiss Champions Basel at Old Trafford, having returned to the competition for just the second time since 2013. Marouane Fellaini was forced onto the field to replace the injured Paul Pogba, who appeared to have suffered a hamstring injury, opened the scoring in the first half by heading in a pin point from Ashley Young 10 minutes before the interval. Romelu Lukaku then put United in complete control when he scored his seventh goal in as many games by out jumping everyone to deflect a Daley Blind cross into the back of the net. It was Marcus Rashford who made sure the scoreline reflected United's dominance with a neat finish from a Fellaini cut back. The goal meant that the striker had scored on his Champions League debut to go along with the goals he scored on his Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup, League Cup and England debuts.

After being eliminated in the quarter-final of last season's Champions League, Barcelona overcame their demons and put three past Gianluigi Buffon to take the top spot. Lionel Messi, who coincidently had never scored against Buffon, opened the scoring late in the first half with a perfectly placed shot into the corner that left the Juventus keeper stranded. The Argentine played a part in the second goal as well when his shot was cleared only to the feet of Ivan Rakitic who doubled Barca's lead. Messi, then, wrapped up the victory by dancing his way across the box before unleashing a powerful effort into the bottom corner. 

All Results

Benfica 1 - 2 CSKA Moscow

Manchester United 3 - 0 Basel

Bayern Munich 3 - 0 Anderlecht

Celtic 0 - 5 Paris Saint Germain

Chelsea 6 - 0 Qarabag FK

Roma 0 - 0 Atletico Madrid

Barcelona 3 - 0 Juventus

Olympiacos 2 - 3 Sporting CP

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