In the battle of last season’s European trophy winners, it was the Champions League holders who took the lead with Casemiro opening the scoring in the 24th minute.
Zinedine Zidane’s side doubled their lead in the 53rd minute through Isco and were in total control until Romelu Lukau pulled one back for the Europa League winners.
United rallied late on with substitute Marcus Rashford denied by Keylor Navas and it was Real who held on to become the first team to win successive UEFA Super Cups since AC Milan in 1989 and 1990.
United looked the more settled in the early exchanges, but it was Madrid who came closest to breaking the deadlock, with Bale – heavily linked with the Red Devils of late – prodding a volley over from six yards before Casemiro rattled the crossbar from a Toni Kroos corner.
Madrid were slowly taking control of proceedings and they made the most of their superiority – and a debatable offside decision – after 24 minutes.
Dani Carvajal, given far too much space 30 yards from goal, clipped a fine pass into Casemiro’s path and the Brazilian steered a fine first-time finish into the bottom-right corner from 12 yards out, although replays showed he had strayed just beyond the United defence too early.
David de Gea saved well from a low Karim Benzema effort, as Madrid looked content to sit back and hit United on the break towards the end of the half, with Mourinho’s men unable to fashion any service for Lukaku aside from a deep cross that he headed straight at Keylor Navas.
Mourinho introduced Marcus Rashford for Jesse Lingard at half-time, but Madrid threatened a second more or less from kick-off, with De Gea making a terrific one-handed save to keep out Kroos’ rasping effort from 20 yards.
But De Gea was helpless against Isco after 52 minutes, the Spain international playing a simple one-two with Bale that carved the United defence in two before slotting the ball beneath the goalkeeper and into the net.
United responded immediately with their best chance of the match, Paul Pogba’s header bringing a fine reaction save out of Navas before Lukaku, who was offside, blasted over the crossbar on the rebound with the goal gaping.
Bale hit a shot off the underside of the bar as Madrid pushed confidently forward, but Lukaku grabbed a lifeline for United when he tapped home after Navas parried Matic’s shot straight into his path.
Navas made a brilliant stop to deny Rashford one-on-one before De Gea made a stunning save to keep out Marco Asensio’s effort, but Madrid held firm in seven minutes of stoppage time to claim the trophy and lay down a marker to the continent.
www.sojworld.com (c) August 9, 2017.
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