But the English clubs didn’t have things all their own way.
United started their away match against Besiktas at a fast and furious pace but drifted to 3.0 as they struggled to break the deadlock. Wayne Rooney was unhappy at being subsistuted on a frustrating night as tension mounted in Istanbul.
However, in the 77th minute Nani’s stinging shot was parried and Paul Scholes, arriving late in the box in typical fashion, headed in the rebound for his 22nd Champions League goal.
This was a less than convincing display by the 2008-09 finalists but Sir Alex Ferguson will be glad to be flying back from Turkey with three points. His side can be backed at 9.6 to go one better than last season.
Chelsea had to wait less time before taking the lead against Porto at Stamford Bridge. Nicolas Anelka was the 7.0 first goalscorer but the Blues had to defend resolutely in the second half to hold on for a 1-0 win which was backed at 1.88.
Carlo Ancelotti certainly has Champions League pedigree, having won the competition with AC Milan. At 6.8 punters believe this might be the year the Blues win the competition for the first time.
At 6.2 Real Madrid are more fancied. They were involved in an eventful game in Switzerland where they won 2-5 against FC Zurich. Seven goals or more was matched at 30.0 in the total goals market. Cristiano Ronaldo scored two free-kicks for the Spanish side, who traded no higher than 1.4.
Elsewhere, Filippo Inzaghi struck twice as Milan were back at 6.6 en route to 1-2 win away to Marseille. The draw was matched at the same price in the match between Juventus and Bordeaux.
Thomas Muller was on target twice as Bayern Munich traded at 2.02 as they overcame Maccabi Haifa 0-3 in Israel.
Whoever got the draw at a tasty 16.5 was rewarded for their patience as Atletico Madrid and APOEL played out a stalemate.
Things were a little livelier in Germany where Libano Batista Grafite hit an impressive hattrick in Wolfsburg’s 3-0 win over CSKA Moscow. The Bundesliga Champions were matched at 1.93.
Reproduced with permission from betting.betfair.com. Ã‚Â© The Sporting Exchange Limited
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