European Champions Real Madrid claimed victory in the UEFA Super Cup final against Europa League winners Manchester United with a 2-1 win.
Jose Mourinho gave debuts to new Summer signings Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku in a game in which the Manchester club put in a spirited performance with flashes of quality but in the end Real Madrid were a class apart. It was a tough lesson for Mourinho’s men but one that will benefit the team in the long run, in the end the aim for the current United squad is to be at the level of their opponents from the Spanish capital.
Zinedine Zidane’s team were totally dominant in the opening exchanges of the game, it seemed an impossible at times for the Reds to get the ball off the Madrid players. United were totally camped in their own half, midfielder Casemiro hit the bar with a diving header from a corner. It was a real scare for the English team who were living precariously in the game. Los Blancos found the breakthrough when Dani Carvajal chipped a ball into the box to find Casemiro, who on the stretch put the ball past David De Gea to give Madrid the lead. New centre back Victor Lindelof was left frozen to the spot as he lost the run of the defensive midfielder, a poor showing from the Swede.
The second half began in the same fashion as the first. The European champions, again totally dominant in possession with United notably struggling to pick up the movement of Isco, who was putting in a masterful performance and was the best player on the pitch. It was Isco who doubled the lead for Real Madrid, a neat passage of play ending in a one two with Gareth Bale put the Spaniard through on goal, who had the composure to place the ball into the net. The Europa League winners appeared to be sinking without a trace in the game.
The introductions of Marcus Rashford and Marouane Fellaini gave Mourinho’s men much needed pace and penetration in the final third. A period of dominance for United saw them get back into the game, a fierce strike from Nemanja Matic was saved by Keylor Navas but the rebound fell to Lukaku who slotted the ball past the Costa Rican keeper to get the Reds back in the game.
Marcus Rashford had a chance saved by Navas after being put through one on one by Henrik Mkhitaryan. Marouane Fellaini had a headed effort saved easily by the Los Blancos kepper. United continued to huff and puff for the rest of the second half but could not find the breakthrough. A spirited second half performance by Mourinho’s men but eventually the difference in quality was the big difference between the two, but many reasons to be encouraged from a United standpoint. With continued work on the squad and with Jose Mourinho at the helm the gap can be bridged between the two giants.
Manchester United: De Gea: 8, Valencia:7, Smalling:6, Lindelof:4, Darmian:7, Matic:7, Pogba:5, Herrera:5, Lingard:3, Mkhitaryan:6, Lukaku:7
Subs: Rashford:6, Fellaini:6
Real Madrid:vNavas:5, Carvajal;7, Ramos:7, Varane:8, Marcelo:7, Casemiro:8, Kroos:8, Modric:7, Isco:9, Bale:7, Benzema:6
Subs: Asensio:5, Vazquez:5, Ronaldo:6