UEFA Super Cup
Philip II National Arena, Skopje, Macedonia
Defending European Champions Real Madrid won a second consecutive UEFA Super Cup title after defeating Europa League Champions Manchester United 2-1 at the Philip II National Arena in Skopje.
Casemiro and Isco gave the Merengues a commanding two-goal lead before summer signing Romelu Lukaku pulled a goal back for United, as the 12-time European Cup winners went on to secure a second consecutive Super Cup title.
The defending Champions League Champions started well and went close to taking the lead in the second minute when a deflected cross from Marcelo was volleyed just over the bar by Gareth Bale, following a corner.
In the 15th minute los Blancos very nearly took the lead when Casemiro met a corner with a header that struck the underside of the bar.
Nine minutes later the Spaniards took the lead when Casemiro latched onto a fine Dani Carvajal cross-field pass to volley home on the slide, although he appeared to be marginally offside.
Manchester United’s best chance in the first period fell to Lukaku, but his header from a Paul Pogba cross, on the stroke of half-time, was tame and produced a straightforward save from Keylor Navas.
Two minutes into the second-half the La Liga Champions went close to a second goal when Toni Kroos fired an effort at-goal from-range that David De Gea did well to palm behind.
In the 52nd minute Real Madrid doubled their lead when Isco exchanged passes with Bale before slotting home after a fine first-time through-ball from the Welshman.
The Red Devils responded well and should have pulled a goal back a minute later when Lukaku fired the over the bar from close-range after Navas palmed Pogba’s header into the Belgian’s path.
The Spanish side very nearly found a third when Bale was sent through on-goal but his effort with his weaker right-foot struck the bar.
The Europa League Champions capitalised on the missed opportunity and reduced the deficit two minutes later. After Navas parried a Nemanja Matić strike from-range the ball fell into the path of Lukaku, who fired home the rebound.
In the 80th minute the Premier League side had a good chance to level the scores when substitute Marcus Rashford was played through on-goal, he had just Navas to beat but the keeper palmed the effort behind.
Ten minutes later United went close again when Antonio Valencia found substitute Marouane Fellaini with a cross but the Belgian’s header was saved well by Navas.
A minute later Madrid should have made it three when substitute Lucas Vázquez beat two United defenders before pulling the ball back to fellow substitute Marco Asensio, but his effort was terrifically palmed away by De Gea.
The result meant that Real Madrid won a second consecutive UEFA Super Cup, their fourth overall, while Manchester United missed out on the UEFA Super Cup for a third time.