- Madrid wins fourth Super Cup
- One shy of Milan, Barcelona
- United now 1-3 in Super Cups
Casemiro and Isco helped Real Madrid to a two-goal lead, then watched as Romelu Lukaku and Manchester United nearly came back to force extra time in the UEFA Super Cup Final on Tuesday in Macedonia.
The 2-1 win gives Real its third Super Cup in four seasons, with Barcelona winning the outlier in 2015.
United will turn its attention to Sunday’s Premier League opener at West Ham, while Real will meet rivals Barca in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday. The second leg is Aug. 16 in Madrid.
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Those expecting a parked bus from Jose Mourinho don’t appreciate the confidence he has in his Manchester United charges, as evidenced by the start of the match.
United was on the front foot from moment one against Real, who started with Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench. The chances were minimal, though, and the biggest danger came in the 16th minute at the other end of the pitch when Casemiro headed a cross off the cross bar. At the other end, a decent United counter turned into a wasted rip from distance by Paul Pogba.
Real worked its way into the match, however, and United was pushed back into its own end when an ever-so-slightly offside Casemiro beat Victor Lindelof to Dani Carvajal’s diagonal ball and slotted home with his left foot.
David De Gea made a nice horizontal slap save of a Luka Modric shot as the match neared halftime, largely sleepy for the final 20 minutes.
Isco made it 2-0 in the 52nd minute, and it was clear United was second best. The 25-year-old Spaniard worked a 1-2 with Gareth Bale to easily pick apart Man Utd’s back line.
United should’ve equalizer when Keylor Navas spilled Paul Pogba’s header into the path of Romelu Lukaku, but the big Belgian blazed wide of the goal.
Momenst after Bale cranked a shot off the cross bar, Lukaku restored some hope to United when Navas’ saved Nemanja Matic‘s rip into the path of the big money striker. Lukaku wouldn’t miss twice from that area, and it was 2-1 with just under a half hour to play.
A facial injury to Marouane Fellaini caused a three-minute delay in the match with about 15 minutes to play, though the Belgian was repaired suitably and didn’t leave the pitch for more than a minute.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan played Marcus Rashford through for a would-be equalizer, but Navas tipped the shot wide for a corner that Real handled well.
Cristiano Ronaldo subbed into the match in the 83rd minute.
Fellaini was stymied by Navas in the first minute of stoppage, and De Gea denied Marco Asensio at the other end.