Real Madrid defeated Manchester United 2-1 to take home the Super Cup trophy for the second year in a row. Casemiro and Isco scored for the winners, and while Lukaku got one back for the English side, but it wasn’t enough to propel a successful comeback.
Jose Mourinho’s men took their opponents by surprise as they played expansive football and menaced them with beautiful transitional play. However, Madrid slowly regained their composure and from then on dominated the rest of the first half, pushing United to the back-foot as they maintained possession and had lots of chances.
Casemiro was initially unlucky to have hit the bar from a diving header from a corner, but he didn’t miss the next chance as he scored the opening goal of the night. He did well to ghost past Lindelof, even though he appeared to be offside in replays, and managed to beat De Gea with a first touch strike to give his side a 1-0 lead.
United lacked confidence after the goal, but were a bit better following the two minute cooling break. They started enjoying more possession than before but couldn’t find an equaliser as Mourinho’s men went into the break a goal down.
Real Madrid doubled their lead minutes into the second half, as Isco coolly slotted in a well worked one-two with Bale. Bale himself hit the bar to agonisingly miss a chance to score, while De Gea was forced into making a couple of fine saves from Kroos and Benzema. Lukaku then produced an early contender for the worst miss of the season, as he somehow managed to miss from seven yards out after Pogba’s header was parried away by Navas.
He did make amends minutes later, and scored the rebound off Matic’s shot to bring his side back into the game. However, it wasn’t enough for Jose’s side as they failed to score an equaliser and take the match to penalties.
With this loss, Manchester United have now lost all three of their UEFA Super Cup Finals, while Madrid bagged it for the second year running.
Here are the major Talking Points from the Match
United need another Defender
Mourinho has time and again stressed his need to sign one more player. And although he’s looking to sign another attacker, possibly a winger, he should rather focus on signing another centre back, preferably one who could play on the left side of the defence as well. United only have one solid defender in Bailly, but he’s highly prone to injuries. Lindelof isn’t ready for a regular spot yet, which was evident today as he was out of position for both goals. Smalling and Jones can sometimes be very good, but lack the consistency Mourinho demands. And while Rojo has become a reliable centre-back, he isn’t available for the next couple of months at the very least. So Mourinho needs to shift his focus on signing another commanding presence at the back if he is to challenge for the title. If he later gets a winger as well, that’s a cherry on the cake.
Pogba Flops on Big Occasion- Yet Again
Many believed Pogba would thrive after Matic’s arrival. And while it’s too early to write that thought off, Pogba did nothing to improve his standing in big games. A player signed for £89m is expected to single-handedly win some big matches, however young he may be. And while last season was his first full season in England, there are no reasons for him to flop this season. He was pathetic at times today – couldn’t maintain possession and even misplaced passes under no pressure. He made a fool of himself when his tricks didn’t come off, and selfishly squandered two good chances either side of half time. There’s no doubt he has the potential to become a superstar, but we’ve been saying that for over a year now.
Casemiro- The Best in the world?
Casemiro has shown time and again that he’s built for the big games. He scored in the El Clasico and the UCL Final last season, and he scored another important goal here in another important game. He’s got a knack of scoring when it matters, and how Perez thinks he isn’t his type of Galactico is still baffling. He’s got everything you need in a defensive midfielder- tackles, vision, goals and assists. In a team of superstars and surrounded by midfielder like Kroos and Modric, Casemiro is one of the most underrated players in the world and probably one of the best in his position. Another season at the top, and he could stake his claim as the best one.
Lukaku misses a sitter
United’s new signing Romelu Lukaku had a mixed game. He did score a goal, but the way he missed from seven yards out on an open goal was the highlight of the night. Herrera’s sublime cross was headed towards Navas by Pogba, and Lukaku somehow managed to miss the target from the rebound. Had he scored that one, and he really should’ve, things could’ve turned out to be very different.
Madrid ready for another assault on the UCL
After a dismal pre-season, Real Madrid fans have been worried for their team’s UCL hopes this season. However, Zidane’s men are more than ready for another assault domestically as well as in Europe this season. They were unlucky on two occasions, and the score could’ve been 4-1 had Bale and Casemiro not hit the woodwork. Agreed- there’s a fair bit of difference in the quality of the Champions League winners and the Europa League winners, but they outdid a well-drilled Mourinho side and that too without their main man- Ronaldo. Imagine what they could do with him in the team.