Manchester United defender John O'Shea says teams are now frightened to face them.
The manner in which Sir Alex Ferguson's English champions shrugged off a spate of injuries to win 4-2 in Ukraine strengthened a belief in the United squad that this could be their year.
Wayne Rooney, a scorer on Tuesday and celebrating his 22nd birthday yesterday, said: "We've a lot of key players missing but we have a good squad and we know we're capable of winning this competition."
It was, however, the versatile O'Shea, switched from midfield to left back when Patrice Evra injured himself in the warm-up at the Olympic Stadium, who spoke of the difference between this season and last when United failed in the semi-final against eventual winners AC Milan.
O'Shea said: "You sense some teams are maybe scared of us now. It seems every time we attack with the pace and power of Wayne, Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez and Ryan Giggs - who looked like he was 19 at some stages against Kiev - we can score.
"The ball Giggsy crossed for Ronaldo was a classic. It's great to be in a team who have so much attacking power because you know that, while it was disappointing to have conceded two goals, we've been keeping a lot of clean sheets and know we're going to score."
United went to Kiev without central midfielders Michael Carrick and Owen Hargreaves then lost Scholes with a knee injury that was being assessed in Manchester yesterday.
But the midfield of Darren Fletcher - making his first start of the season - and Anderson compensated impressively, with the Brazilian giving his best performance yet in a United shirt.
O'Shea added: "There's great strength in depth and that's a difference between this squad and previous ones.
"Hopefully, we'll have some experienced lads back soon but we're showing we can more than cope with injuries."