Real Madrid opened their campaign with a win, beating Manchester United 2-1 in the UEFA Super Cup on Tuesday night in Skopje, Macedonia, courtesy of goals from Casemiro and Isco.
Casemiro had the best chance to open the scoring just past the quarter-hour mark, but the Brazilian’s header from a Toni Kroos corner smashed off the bar.
The subsequent clearance led to a Man United counter-attack, with Paul Pogba running the length of the field and passing up a chance to play in Henrikh Mkhitaryan to instead fire high and wide of the Madrid goal.
And minutes later, Casemiro got the opener, latching on to a lofted Dani Carvajal pass into the penalty area and firing home with his left foot past David De Gea.
Karim Benzema nearly doubled his team’s lead before half-time after the ball fell to him in the United area, but the striker’s well-hit shot was handled tidily by De Gea and Real took a 1-0 lead into the dressing room.
Zinedine Zidane’s team picked up where they left off in the first half, with Kroos forcing a save from De Gea in the 47th minute from a Gareth Bale pass and Marcelo having a shot deflected into the side netting after turning over the United defence in their own third.
And the second would come soon after, with Bale and Isco combining on a give and go in the 52nd minute to set the latter up for an easy finish to make it 2-0.
Pogba and Romelu Lukaku were wasteful two minutes later with chances to halve the Madrid lead, the France international heading right at Keylor Navas before the former Everton player fired well over the crossbar from the rebound.
Lukaku would leave no doubt on his second chance from a Navas rebound, smashing home from very close range after Nemanja Matic’s shot was blocked by the Real keeper to get Jose Mourinho’s team back in the match.
United should have been level in the 82nd minute when Mkhitaryan’s through ball left Marcus Rashford in on goal only for his scuffed shot from eight yards to be deflected wide of the post from Navas.
Madrid saw out the match despite United pressure to take home their first silverware of the season.