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Messi finally conquers Buffon

| | MANCHESTER

As the Champions League opened with a series of one-sided games, Jose Mourinho was blunt. For the Manchester United manager, it wasn't the Champions League at all.

"For the Real Madrids, Barcelonas and Bayerns, the Champions League starts in February. Now is just the warming up," Mourinho said after a routine win for his Manchester United team over Swiss club Basel.

Barcelona's 3-0 win over Juventus was something of an exception, if only because the Italian team - last season's defeated finalist - had been expected to put up more of a fight.

In the event, Lionel Messi started another European campaign in imperious fashion with two goals against an injury-depleted Juventus side.

GROUP A

Manchester United's players didn't have to exert themselves too much to see off Swiss side Basel 3-0, as Romelu Lukaku scored his sixth goal in six United appearances.

In Lisbon, Benfica let slip a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 to CSKA Moscow.

In Group B, PSG's expensively assembled forward line of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani ran riot against Celtic in a 5-0 win. Bayern seemed rustier in its 3-0 win over Anderlecht, leading by just one goal at halftime.

Group C saw Chelsea needing nothing special to thrash Azerbaijan's Qarabag 6-0. Atletico Madrid’s poor finishing made it them look well short of high-standard in a 0-0 draw with Roma.

Lionel Messi started the new European season with yet another game-winning performance for Barcelona in Group D as the Catalan club's record signing Ousmane Dembele made his debut to be part of Barcelona's three-goal winning margin against a weakened opponent in Juventus to whon they lost in last year's quarterfinals. Juventus was missing defender Giorgio Chiellini, forward Mario Mandzukic and midfielder Sami Khedira through injury, while Juan Cuadrado was suspended. 

 
 
 
 
 

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