A sensational goal from Isco was enough to give Real Madrid their fourth UEFA Super Cup as Zinedine Zidane’s men start their match towards a season of six potential trophies thanks to a 2-1 victory against Manchester United in Skopje, Macedonia.
Casemiro also got in on the act bagging the opening strike 24 minutes in, before Isco doubled the lead not long after the break. Romelu Lukaku reduced the arrears on the hour, moments after a crazy miss, but in the end Los Blancos’ superiority in midfield won out.
Real now move onto bitter rivals Barcelona on Sunday, as they look to win the sextuple and equal the Catalans’ 2009 record. Meanwhile, Manchester United begin their Premier League campaign at home to West Ham, with the latest news at SportNation.com.
A good start by Jose Mourinho’s side, who are joint favourites to win the league with SportNation.bet while a potentially Coutinho-less Liverpool are 20/1, saw Lukaku almost through on goal but Keylor Navas was alert to the danger and gathered the ball at the second attempt.
Not to be outdone, Real Madrid had the first real chance as Marcelo swung in a cross which was poked over the bar by Gareth Bale, as Manchester Uniteds’s defence went to sleep expecting David De Gea to claim the cross.
Undeterred, United went on the offensive, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan nutmegging Sergio Ramos, but as he dashed past the Madrid captain, he fell to the floor with referee Gianluca Rocchi instructing the Armenia to get on his feet.
Good early pressure from Jose Mourinho’s men was almost undone by Casemiro, who struck the crossbar with a header from Toni Kroos’ corner. Immediately United countered and Mkhitaryan’s effort from distance was blocked by Luka Modric.
Casemiro continued his forays into the United half and went close with a drive from distance, but it whistled over De Gea’s goal.
However, his moment came midway thought the opening period, with Dani Carvajal’s diagonal ball catching the United backline off guard, and Casemiro snuck in behind Victor Lindelof to volley past De Gea into the far right corner.
— The Usual Spectators (@UsualSpectators) August 8, 2017
Real Madrid’s dominance was telling as for periods United were unable to gain possession, while at the back Sergio Ramos and co. were sweeping up any danger produced by the front players.
It could have been two late in the first half as Modric raced down the right side, with Darmian chasing, but he fell as he made it into the box and Karim Benzema’s angled drive was parried clear by De Gea.
Then, just before the break, Lukaku headed straight at a very thankful Navas.
Right after the restart Real Madrid were denied by a good save from De Gea after Kroos’ drive, then Marcelo nicked the ball from Mkhitaryan one the edge of the United penalty area, but shot into side netting following a good block by Chris Smalling.
It was 2-0 not long after as Bale and Isco combined on the edge of the box, playing a neat one-two, with the former slotting past a helpless De Gea.
Here’s The Second #RealMadrid Goal By Isco. Beautiful Play With Gareth Bale.
— Trending Sports Club (@TrendingSportsC) August 8, 2017
A contender for miss of the season was up next as Paul Pogba’s header was saved by Navas, who pushed the ball right into the path of Lukaku, but the Belgian blasted clean over the bar from five-yards out. At the other end, Bale hit the crossbar, after he went in on goal.
Redemption came Lukaku’s way as Navas again saved, a Nemanja Matic drive this time, and the ball fell to the United No.9 who made no mistake and tapped home from close range.
Lukaku with a sasta goal pic.twitter.com/ipam8FAQB6
— Minhaj (@16minhaj) August 8, 2017
The equaliser for United almost came with 10 minutes left to play as Rashford raced in on goal, but the youngster couldn’t quite match the build-up as he put his shot agonisingly wide of the post, though Navas did get a slight touch.
A swift counter-attack from Real Madrid followed, as Benzema was sent on his way to attack the United goal but he was thwarted by Matteo Darmian.
Naval had to be alert as Marouane Fellaini headed towards goal, then De Gea produced a top class save, tipping Marco Asensio’s header over the bar. From the resulting corner, Ramos headed just wide.
Real Madrid: Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Isco (Vazquez, min. 74); Bale (Asensio, min 74), Benzema (Ronaldo, min. 82).
Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Lindelof, Smalling, Darmian; Matic, Herrera (Felliani, min. 55), Pogba; Mkhitaryan, Lingard (Rashford, min. 46), Lukaku.
Goals: Casemiro (min. 24), Isco (min. 52) for Real Madrid; Lukaku (min. 62) for Manchester United.
Red Cards: None
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (Italy)