Dominant Real Madrid claim Super Cup

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Isco scored Real Madrid's second and was voted man of the match. AFP

Dominant Real Madrid claim Super Cup

Patrick Power by Patrick Power @rfutbol - 0 +12k

Zidane's side gave Manchester United little chance as they played some fantastic football to claim their fourth UEFA Super Cup.

Two opposing styles came face to face in Skopje, as they both looked to create danger from the start. Real Madrid's patient build up play was occasionally interrupted United's verticality, Mourinho's side keen to break with pace.

Gareth Bale had the first chance of the game when Marcelo's deflected cross was sent looping into the six-yard box, catching United's back line off guard. The Welshman stuck a leg out but could not trouble De Gea as the ball flew wide.

Zidane's team slowly began to claim more possession, pushing their opponents back. Casemiro looked lively and fired his first warning when he rattled the crossbar from a corner kick.

Only moments later, the Brazilian picked up the ball at the edge of the area and decided to have another go, but his shot sailed over the bar.

Isco and Modric continued to knock the ball well, hiding it from a powerless Manchester United. The Spaniard saw his long shot go wide before Casemiro put his side in front.

The holding midfielder ran off the back of Lindelof to get on the end of Carvajal's pass and volley into the bottom corner. He looked to be marginally offside, but the goal stood.

Madrid's masterclass continued before the play came to a halt for the first scheduled drinks break. The match was paused for two minutes as the players stopped for refreshments to bear the sweltering heat in Skopje.

Mourinho's team seemed to wake up toward the end of the first half, but after the break Real Madrid once again pinned them into their own half. Kroos forced a fantastic save from De Gea and Marcelo hit the side-netting within the first five minutes.

In the 52 minute, however, there was nothing the keeper could do to stop Isco's composed finish. The Andalusian midfielder played a one-two with Bale before finding the bottom corner to double Madrid's lead.

The Red Devils had an immediate chance to respond and get back into the game, as Pogba's header was saved. The ball fell for Lukaku but the Belgian fired wide with only Navas to beat.

Real Madrid had a double chance to put the game out of reach for United. First, Bale hammered a right-footed shot at goal which beat De Gea but ricocheted off the crossbar.

Benzema then failed to get a decent finish on the end of Carvajal's low cross, and from one end to the other, Mourinho's side managed to get back in the game. Navas parried Matic's shot into the path of Lukaku, and this time the striker made no mistake.

The Red Devils managed to apply pressure on the Champions League winners, but did not create enough chances, which came few and far apart. Rashford had the best opportunity to equalise when Mkhitaryan's pass set him free, but his left-footed finish was turned behind by Navas.

Manchester United piled bodies forward as they desperately looked for the long ball, which only awarded Madrid more space to break forward. In ther dying minutes, Asensio could have put the game to bed after a superb move from Vazquez but for De Gea's intervention.

In the end, Real Madrid earned a deserved victory after dominating for much of the fixture, excepting Manchester United's occasional rallies. Last season's Champions League winners lift their first trophy of the season.

 

Patrick Power

Patrick Power

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