Real Madrid vs. Manchester United
Venue: Philip II Arena
Date: Tuesday, 8 August 2017
Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Manchester United succumbed to a 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the 2017 Super Cup.
Despite Romelu Lukaku’s lifeline and maiden United goal midway through the second period, the Spanish side secured victory through goals from Casemiro and Isco in either half.
Zinedine Zidane’s impressive reign at the Bernabeu goes on as United take lessons away from their curtain raiser.
Early chances at both ends as Lukaku got a head to a long ball forward to no avail as Gareth Bale volleyed over from Marcelo’s whipped cross.
Scorer in the recent friendly between the two, Casemiro crashed a header against the bar from a corner, before the United counter attack saw Paul Pogba go solo and see a shot blocked when he had options either side.
Casemiro then fired over after Matteo Darmian’s poor clearance as Isco did likewise from a central position as Real began to dominate possession.
The Spanish dominance then told as the ever involved Casemiro peeled clear at the back post, albeit in an offside position, steering home Daniel Carvajal’s chipped pass.
Persistent attacking ended with Pogba’s blocked shot after the drinks break due to the humidity in Macedonia before Ander Herrera’s ambitious swipe failed to trouble.
David De Gea was forced to parry Karim Benzema’s low strike as Keylor Navas held Lukaku’s header from Pogba’s cross at the other end.
After the restart, Toni Kroos’ weaker foot attempt was turned behind by De Gea’s right hand and after slack defending from the resulting corner, Marcelo’s effort deflected into the side netting off Chris Smalling.
Mazy dribbling after his half-time introduction from Marcus Rashford had the crowd on their feet but it was Isco’s slotted finish after Bale’s return pass that gifted the Champions League winners a two goal cushion.
Looking for a way back, Herrera’s cross was met by Pogba’s head with Navas producing a fine save, and Lukaku blazed the rebound over the bar from close range.
Former Spurs man Luka Modric shot straight at De Gea before Bale struck the bar when he should’ve scored, albeit via his weaker right foot.
Two new signings then combined as Nemanja Matic’s shot from range was parried only into the path of Lukaku who made sure this time around of finding the back of the net.
Substitute Marouane Fellaini headed over from Matic’s deep cross before Rashford raced through but was denied by Navas turning the ball behind.
The following corner led to a breakaway but Darmian’s tackle on Benzema was perfectly-timed as Cristiano Ronaldo was introduced to proceedings.
Rashford’s free-kick flew over, Sergio Ramos headed high and Fellaini saw his header held from Antonio Valencia’s cross.
De Gea showed why he is so coveted by United’s opponents, denying Marco Asensio from close range inside seven minutes of additional time as Ramos headed wide from the resulting corner.
Using his trademark stance to set, Ronaldo’s wild free-kick flew over but full-time brought to an end this year’s Super Cup.
After an even start, United fell away either side of the break as Real took control, but an encouraging last half hour saw positives to take from this showpiece event.
The real business gets under way this weekend, when West Ham United visit Old Trafford in the Premier League.
Sunday’s spectacle sees a 4pm kick-off in the final match of the first round of fixtures, as Jose Mourinho aims for a winning start to the league campaign.
United: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Lindelof, Darmian; Matic, Herrera (Fellaini 56), Pogba; Lingard (Rashford 46), Lukaku, Mkhitaryan.
Subs not used: Romero, Blind, Carrick, Mata, Martial.
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Real: Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Casemiro, Modric, Kroos, Isco (Asensio 74); Benzema (Ronaldo 83), Bale (Vazquez 74).
Subs not used: Casilla, Nacho, Theo, Kovacic.
Manager: Zinedine Zidane