Real Madrid Beat United To Retain UEFA Super Cup
Champions League holders Real Madrid have retained the UEFA Super Cup after recording a 2-1 victory over Europa League winners Manchester United in Macedonia on Tuesday night.
Real Madrid led 2-0 early in the second period courtesy of goals from Casemiro and Isco, and the Spanish champions held on to land the title despite Romelu Lukaku’s first Man United goal making it an uncomfortable conclusion for Los Blancos.
Gareth Bale was named in the Real Madrid XI despite his recent injury problems and the speculation surrounding his future, while Cristiano Ronaldo, having not represented Los Blancos during pre-season, was expectedly included among the substitutes.
As for Man United, there were competitive debuts for Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic and Lukaku, while Jesse Lingard was preferred to the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in the final third of the field.
Real Madrid came close to opening the scoring inside three minutes when the spin on a high ball saw Bale get the better of Mkhitaryan inside the Man United box, but the Welshman’s instinctive effort just missed the crossbar.
Lukaku, Pogba and Mkhitaryan were all heavily involved for Man United in the opening 10 minutes, and the latter might have won a free kick just outside the Real Madrid box after placing the ball through the legs of Sergio Ramos, but replays showed that the Armenian went down under little pressure.
Real Madrid had another opportunity in the 16th minute when Casemiro wriggled free of Matteo Darmian to meet a Toni Kroos corner inside the Man United box, but the Brazilian’s bullet header rattled off the crossbar.
Bale found a huge hole in the defence only to smash his finish against the crossbar from a tight angle, but Manchester United did eventually pull one back with a chance even Lukaku couldn’t miss. Navas only parried a Nemanja Matic snapshot into the path of the Belgian to tap in.
Marcus Rashford failed to finish off a huge opportunity, drilling wide from six yards when one-on-one with Navas, and in stoppages the goalkeeper plucked a Marouane Fellaini header out of the air.