England take the Champions League by storm

Manchester United have continued their dominant start to the campaign with a convincing opening bout against FC Basel in the Champions League, while Chelsea also caused plenty of damage to FK Qarabag. These results are nice to see, because as we know, English teams can tend to struggle in Europe, but perhaps this time it will be different. 

Manchester United 3 FC Basel 0

The result for the Reds Devils maintains their unbeaten run to start the 2017-18 season, and handcuffs critics back to their place following a sloppy draw against Stoke City. Jose Mourinho has certainly got his squad singing, Anthony Martial has shaken the Premier League blues, Henrikh Mkhitaryan is playing in sublime style and Romelu Lukaku is scoring goals for fun at this point.

Manchester United have now scored 15 goals in all competitions over the course of five games, and other than the brace from Maxim Choupo-Moting at the weekend United are yet to concede anything else.

Manchester United by the numbers:

  • Manchester had eight shots find the target, three of which found the back of the net.
  • Lukaku scored his fifth goal for his new club, while Marcus Rashford grabbed his third and Marouane Fellaini netted his second of the season.
  • Mkhitaryan has created six goals in the Premier League and added two more to that tally against FC Basel.
  • The Red Devils held 60% of possession versus Basel and were just six passes shy of 600 in total.
  • Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof won 100% of all tackles attempted.
  • Smalling and Ashley Young won all of their aerial duels.

Chelsea 6 Qarabag 0

Anything you can do I can do better? That may have been the motto of Chelsea as the Blues scored double what Manchester United did to make it a fourth straight victory for Antonio Conte’s side. Even without a fully fit Eden Hazard the Blues are flying, Michy Batshuyai is warming to the occasion, Willian is doing what Willian does and N’Golo Kante and Cesc Fabregas are keeping the midfield airtight.

Chelsea have now scored 14 goals in five games, which will give weekend opponent’s, Arsenal, absolute nightmares. The Blues may have started slow this term, but they look like an out of control freight train now, and every single carriage playing its part. Goals are coming from all over the pitch, Marcos Alonso has scored twice already for instance.

Chelsea by the numbers:

  • Chelsea’s 6-0 win equals their biggest Champions League victory.
  • Michy Batshuyai is beginning to rumble, his goal versus Qarabag moves him to three in total and level with Alvaro Morata.
  • Pedro, Cesar Azpilicueta, Davide Zappacosta and Tiemoue Bakayoka all scored their first goal for Chelsea this season.
  • Cesc Fabregas created four golden goal scoring opportunities, one of which directly resulted in a goal.
  • The Blues completed more than 600 passes against Qarabag, to the tune of an 86% pass accuracy.
  • Willian successfully made the equal most take-ons (7) in the Champions League opener with country-men Neymar.
  • Andreas Christensen misplaced just two passes from 88 attempts, leaving the Chelsea defender with a pass accuracy of 97.7%

Well that is it then, so far England have kicked off their Champions League challenge with a 100% win rate. There is more to come though, as Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool will be in action tomorrow. Spurs and the Reds arguably have tougher mountains to traverse, with oppositions like Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla respectively. While City, who are coming off that magical 5-0 destruction of Liverpool will have the tricky task of Feyenoord.

We will have to wait and see if England’s Champions League success continues, but in regards to Manchester United and Chelsea it is most definitely a formidable start. Both sides have announced themselves, and although the likes of PSG and Barcelona also recorded big results, we can take nothing away from the English clubs’ dominance.

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