Davide Zappacosta scored a spectacular goal and Michy Batshuayi netted twice as Chelsea equalled their biggest Champions League win with a thrashing of competition debutants Qarabag. Also, Manchester United made a winning return to the Champions League with a deserved home victory over Swiss side Basel.
The Blues – making their return to European competition having failed to qualify last season – rested several first-team players for the visit of the Azerbaijani champions, but still won with ease.
Pedro opened the scoring with a 20-yard curler from Willian’s lay-off.
Italy right-back Zappacosta, on his first Blues start, ran 50 yards down the right wing, before sending over a cross that flew past Ibrahim Sehic. Cesar Azpilicueta headed home a third after the break from Cesc Fabregas’ cross.
Willian hit the crossbar, and substitute Tiemoue Bakayoko scored his first Blues goal with a deflected shot from close range.
Batshuayi then scored twice in the final 15 minutes – firing in from outside the box after being picked out in space by Bakayoko and then scrambling home Zappacosta’s cross.
The win was always likely to be the easiest game in the group, with Roma and Atletico Madrid the other two teams in Group C. Those sides drew 0-0 in Rome’s Olympic Stadium.
Marouane Fellaini, who came on for the injured Paul Pogba in the first half, rose highest to head United ahead from an Ashley Young cross with 10 minutes to go to the break.
Romelu Lukaku strengthened their grip on the encounter by converting from among a group of players in the box from a Daley Blind cross following a short corner.
Marcus Rashford fired in his side’s third from a Fellaini low cross seven minutes after coming on. The striker has now scored in his first appearance in the Champions League, Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup, League Cup and for England.
The opening fixtures continue tonight with a host of top quality games across Europe.