Goals from Casemiro and Isco guided Real Madrid to Supercup glory
Real Madrid proved to be the better side at the final whistle at Skopje, as they finished 2-1 against Manchester United and lifted the Uefa Super Cup.
Manchester United were 2nd best on the field for the maximum amount of time. Real Madrid dominated the play in the first half United came back in the second but that was not enough to beat a formidable Real side.
Casemiro and Isco gave Real Madrid back-to-back Super Cup triumphs, running out 2-1 victors despite Romelu Lukaku’s first competitive goal for United bringing the Super Cup encounter to a tense finale.
Jose Mourinho gave starts to Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof against his former side. But their chances of winning the Super Cup against the current Champions League winner seemed unlikely when at the 24th-minute mark, Casemiro placed the ball beautifully past De Gea and broke the deadlock.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) August 8, 2017
Real’s first goal was scored by Casemiro from an excellent weighted lobbed ball from Carvajal, the Spaniard had ample space to find his man in the penalty box. Casemiro also was brilliant with his timing of the run and coolly placed it beyond De Gea with a first-time finish.
Real slowly started to dictate the game after the first goal and it was looking difficult for Manchester United to come back into the game. The Spanish club was trying to sit back and hit United on the counters and exactly the thing happened when Benzema squeezed a low drilled shot towards De Gea. The 26-year old was quick to react and pulled off a good save to keep United in the game.
At half time Mourinho introduced Rashford for Lingard, hoping that the wonder boy can do some magic to turn the tides in favour Manchester United. But things were completely different as right after kickoff David De Gea was required once again and he responded excellently with a superb save from a Toni Kroos effort from 20 yards.
But Isco was the star player all throughout the first half and he doubled the lead for the Los Blancos when he played a subtle one two with Bale. Matic unfortunately slipped and Isco calmly guided the ball beyond the goalkeeper.
The Red Devils did not give and finally, they had their biggest chance of the night when Pogba’s header was parried by Navas and the ball landed right in front of goal but Lukaku was unable to provide the finish which was needed as the Belgian blasted it over the crossbar.
Madrid came very close to finish the game when Bale’s strike from a tight angle struck the underside of the cross bar and was clear to safety. But Real Madrid kept dominating and it was certainly getting more and more difficult for United to make a comeback.
But finally, Lukaku grabbed a lifeline for United when he tapped home after Navas parried Matic’s shot straight into his path. The Belgian’s first goal for United came at the right time as it gave the Red Devils some hope to make a comeback.
There was definitely a chance for a comeback for the Red Devils as Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s smart through ball allowed Rashford a lot of space but the young man was denied excellently by Keylor Navas. The Costa Rican secured the lead for Real with an excellent save to his left to keep out Rashford’s effort.
The crowd was eagerly waiting for Cristiano Ronaldo and Zidane did not disappoint them as he introduced him at the closing minutes, as United kept fighting for an equaliser. Fellaini saw his header saved by Navas and Asensio’s shot was brilliantly kept out by De Gea right at the dying moments.
All in all, it was a good performance from the Champions League holders, as they lift the UEFA Super Cup beating Manchester United 2-1. United were also good in patches but a lot better performance is expected from them as this season they will play in the Champions League.