Manchester United have kicked off their 2018-19 Champions League campaign with a 3-0 win over tournament debutants Young Boys at the Stade de Suisse on Wednesday.
The hosts were the better team for long spells of the first half in what was their first appearance in the Champions League proper since its rebranding, but ultimately it was the quality of Paul Pogba, which turned the match in United’s favour.
The stand-in skipper scored twice in the space of nine first-half minutes to put United in control, and then added an assist to his haul by teeing up Anthony Martial for the winger’s first goal since mid-January.
United ultimately cruised to the victory on the Swiss side’s plastic pitch, leaving themselves top of Group H after the first game, level on points with Juventus courtesy of their victory over Valencia.
Christian Fassnacht was one of the home side’s brightest attackers and broke into the box before seeing his shot blocked and fall into the path of Djibril Sow, who dragged his long-range rebound wide of the target.
Pogba picked up a loose ball just outside the area, shifting it smartly onto his left foot before picking out the top corner with a pinpoint finish which left David von Ballmoos with no chance.
The opener came against the run of play, but suddenly it was United who were piling on the pressure and Victor Lindelof caused panic in the area with a header from a corner before their second goal arrived with just one minute left of the first half – albeit in controversial circumstances.
Mbabu was unfortunate to be penalised for a handball from Shaw’s cross inside the area, but Pogba made no mistake with the subsequent spot kick as he picked out the top corner, despite the goalkeeper getting a touch to it.
United wrapped up the points shortly after the hour mark, though, as Pogba lead the charge from midfield before playing in Martial, who again took his time over the finish but this time saw it deflect off the foot of Camara and past the helpless Von Ballmoos.