Real Madrid defeated Manchester United to win the UEFA Super Cup, a trophy contested by the winners of Champions League and Europa League. The Champions of Europe took the lead through an unlikely source in the 24th minute of the game, when Casemiro slotted in a left-footed strike from a cross by Carvajal to beat De Gea.
The goal was borderline controversial, though, as the Brazilian midfielder looked slightly offside, but there was no denying to the thorough supremacy asserted by Real Madrid after that point. Zidane’s side continued their dominance before heading into the tunnel at half-time.
Second half also got off to a similar start as Real Madrid started to tire Manchester United players by keeping the ball to them. Los Blancos’ patience and possession was again rewarded in the 52nd minute, when Isco showed great flair to finish a wonderful one-two pass move with Gareth Bale at the edge of the penalty area.
Manchester United grew into the game during the final half an hour, as their efforts intensified, but Lukaku’s goal in 62nd minute proved to a mere consolation, as the match finished 2-1 in favour of Real Madrid.
De Gea: 7
The Spanish goalkeeper put in a good performance despite letting in two goals; where he couldn’t have done much better. De Gea made a number of good saves to deny Real Madrid from extending their lead over Manchester United.
M. Darmian: 5.5
The makeshift centre-back in a defence of three struggled for most parts of the game. The Italian full-back was caught out of position on a number of occasions, suggesting the obvious; he isn’t a centre-back, not yet anyways.
V. Lindelof: 5
The highly rated Swedish defender has looked out of sorts throughout the preseason, and it was another disappointing performance from the new signing. Lindelof could be held accountable for the both the goals scored by Real Madrid, as the defender failed to contain threat coming from his side.
C. Smalling: 6.5
The much criticized English player was, perhaps, the best defender for Manchester United last night. Smalling blocked a few shots and won most of his aerial challenges against Bale and Benzema to put in a decent performance.
Couldn’t bring himself into the game to impact it in a positive way for his side. Grew frustrated as the game passed and earned a yellow card for an aggressive tackle on Isco. Substituted at half-time.
Matic was easily the best player for Manchester United on the pitch. He defended well, was great with his passing and launched the missile of a shot that was spilled on a plate for Lukaku by Keylor Navas.
P. Pogba: 5.5
Didn’t do justice to his reputation as he couldn’t get the game going for his side in the midfield. When opportunities came his way, Pogba failed to take the right decisions throughout the game.
A. Herrera: 5.5
Much like his midfield partner Pogba, Herrera also failed to pull the strings and give Manchester United control of things. An uncharacteristic display by the usually dependable Spaniard. Substituted in 55th minute after Real Madrid’s second goal.
A. Valencia: 6
The Ecuadorian full-back ventured some good runs forward by acting as a pacey outlet on the right. However, he struggled to contain Isco when the Spaniard attacked from Valencia’s side.
R. Lukaku: 6
The big-money signing did score a goal for Manchester United; but he was largely subdued. Spurned a golden chance when Navas spilled a Pogba header into the way of the Belgian striker.
The talented Armenian showed glimpses of his quality across the match, but failed to make an impact.
Subs: Rashford: 6.5, Fellaini: 6
K. Navas: 6
Mixed bag for the Real Madrid goalkeeper. Made a few good saves, but at fault for the only goal scored by Manchester United. The shot-stopper was poor with his handling.
D. Carvajal: 7
The right-back brings a bundle of energy down on the right wing for his team. One of his forward runs resulted in the first goal, when Casemiro finished off a good cross by the Spanish full-back.
R. Varane: 7
As usual, the French defender showed great pace to sweep many balls from behind the Real Madrid’s defence. Was competent in most of his challenges against Lukaku.
S. Ramos: 7
Ramos was successful in neutralizing the aerial threat posed by the gigantic frame of Lukaku. The captain was also good with his passing range, as he played the ball out from the back efficiently.
The dancing Brazilian is always a great threat on the left, and this game was no different. The left-back put in a number of good crosses to find his team-mates in dangerous positions.
Casemiro is known for his industry and defensive work, but the Brazilian midfielder showed great attacking prowess for the first goal, when he put the ball past De Gea with a striker’s finish. Was spot on with his usual defensive duties.
T. Kroos: 7.5
The German midfielder was efficient as always and distributed the ball well across the field. Made a mistake while trying to play his way out of trouble, but Lukaku found himself offside to do any damage.
L. Modric: 7.5
The partner in crime with Kroos, Modric took control of the game. Made many exciting runs forward to trouble the defence of United.
Isco was like a live wire which the United defenders were afraid of touching. Was exemplary with his dribbling and touches. Scored a great goal which proved to be the difference in the end.
G. Bale: 6.5
The Welsh superstar made some good runs and found himself in good positions. However, he didn’t have the impact he would have desired.
Benzema carried the ball well, and also observed good interplay at times, but the French striker was not a great threat against United.
Subs: Vasquez 6.5, Asensio 6, Ronaldo 6
Written by Shorya Panwar
Has 20+ years of experience managing Schalke in Football Manager 2017. Believes wing-backs are the most complete footballers in the modern/evolved football. Writes weird stuff on his personal blog.