Real Madrid lifted a second successive UEFA Super Cup after a 2-1 victory over Manchester United in Macedonia.
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 winner
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
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho admitted on Monday that he would “fight” for Gareth Bale’s return to English football should Real Madrid leave the Wales international out of Real Madrid’s squad for the game in Macedonia.
But Bale started and was straight into the action, latching onto Marcelo’s deflected cross but his effort failed to trouble David De Gea.
Real enjoyed the majority of the possession in the opening stages and they should have been ahead in the 17th minute but Casemiro, from close range, saw a header cannon back off the crossbar.
Gareth Bale started in attack for Real Madrid, while Cristiano Ronaldo was named on the bench.
Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho’s starting line-up included new signings Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof.
Despite being second best for much of the opening 45 minutes, United could have been level on the stroke of half-time when Paul Pogba’s cross picked out Lukaku, but United’s club record signing could only pick out Keylor Navas.
Real doubled their advantage immediately after the break when Isco finished into the bottom corner after collecting a return pass from Bale.
And Bale could have made it three in the 61st minute, rattling the crossbar with a fierce shot.
Real Madrid: Navas (7), Carvajal (6), Ramos (6), Varane (7), Marcelo (7), Kroos (7), Casemiro (8), Modric (7), Isco (9), Benzema (8), Bale (7).
Subs used: Ronaldo (n/a), Vasquez (6), Asensio (6),
Manchester United: De Gea (8), Valencia (7), Lindelof (6), Smalling (7), Darmian (6), Matic (7), Herrera (6), Pogba (6), Mkhitaryan (7), Lingard (6), Lukaku (7).
Subs used: Fellaini (7), Rashford (8).
However, United were back in the game a minute later when Lukaku, who atoned for a poor earlier miss, pounced on the rebound after Matic’s shot was saved to score from close range.
Rashford, who came on at half-time on for Jesse Lingard, impressed late on and could have grabbed an equaliser but Navas tipped the England striker’s goal-bound effort around the post.
In difficult conditions, United continued to fight hard for an equaliser but it proved beyond them at the Philip II National Arena as Real held on for their fourth Super Cup success.
Man of the Match – Isco
Isco was at the heart of everything good for Real. He popped up all over the field and helped Zidane’s side control possession for long periods. He capped his fine display with a lovely goal, finishing expertly after combing with Bale in the penalty area.