Real Madrid beat Manchester United 2-1 to keep their European dominance intact

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Real Madrid beat Manchester United 2-1 to keep their European dominance intact

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SportsCafe Desk

08/09/2017

Real Madrid continued their sublime form on the European circuit as they went past a heavily upgraded Manchester United side 2-1 to claim the UEFA Super Cup in Skopje. Zinedine Zidane’s men hardly had to overexert themselves in unlocking United’s defence, leaving Jose Mourinho a lot to think about.

The UEFA Super Cup is played between the winners of the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League. The latter is often referred to as the second-tier platform of the European tournament and Zidane showed Mourinho exactly the difference in quality between them.

Despite starting with Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench, United were easily troubled by the likes of Gareth Bale and Isco as they hardly got any breathing space throughout the game. A warning was given by midfielder Casemiro on as early as the 17 minute when his header hit the post and clattered away. United, however, improved little giving sufficient time and space to the likes of Luka Modric and Isco, who picked their men with ease.

And the inevitable happened just eight minutes later when a measured ball by full-back Dani Carvajal found the Brazilian international yet again as he slotted it past David De Gea at the far post. United’s new signing Victor Lindelof failed to keep track of Casemiro and although there was a hint of offside, he got the benefit of doubt.

A drinks-break on the half-hour mark did provide some clarity to the United players as they regrouped and pressed Madrid higher up the field, but little could happen. Real Madrid nailed yet another on their coffin right after the second half started, when Bale and Isco played a brilliant one-two before the Spaniard guided it past the keeper beautifully.

It was 2-0 and United looked nowhere near the quality they were up against. Although they did pull one back when new recruit Romelu Lukaku scored a rebound after Nemanja Matic had tried from outside the box, it remained a one-time occurrence. United did increase their pressure late on in the game against a tiring Madrid side, but their class told.

Real were the dominant force throughout with 63% possession and nine shots on target as opposed to United’s 37% possession and five shots. Both the sides shared two yellow cards each.

Los Blancos head into the two-legged Supercopa de España tie next where they face arch-rivals Barcelona, while Manchester United kick off their Premier League season against West Ham United at Old Trafford.

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