The Belgian, despite not training on Sunday due to a calf problem, was included on the bench and came on after just 15 minutes following Paul Pogba‘s hamstring injury.
And he was simply sublime in midfield, powering home a header after 35 minutes and providing an assist for Marcus Rashford to crown an enterprising, solid display.
Speaking after the game, Mourinho was quick to note that the 29-year-old served as the perfect answer to Basel’s decision to sit back and load the middle.
There is something about Fellaini’s gangly, physical, awkward style that unnerves opponents. The way he holds the ball and generally goes about his business contrasts heavily with your quintessential midfielder. Put simply, he is impossible to pin down.
And Basel found him impossible to stop. The Belgian Zidane took hold of proceedings. He did everything with a veneer of that fuzzy-headed brilliance supporters are slowly starting to admire more and more. Bullet headers, poetic pirouettes out of danger, precise passes, back heels, professional fouls, piercing runs down the middle.
This, ladies and gentlemen, was nothing short of a masterclass.