Manchester United suffered their third straight defeat in the European Super Cup after they were beaten by Real Madrid by a 2-1 scoreline. The Red Devils fell 1-0 behind in the 24th minute with Casemiro coming up with a lovely-timed volley into the bottom corner of David de Gea’s net. The start of the second half saw a real push from Los Blancos who made it 2-0 through Isco in the 52nd minute. Romelu Lukaku had a mixed outing in his first competitive game for United, but he managed to pull one back after a half save from Keylor Navas enabled him to pounce for his maiden goal.
Jose Mourinho will now shift the club’s focus towards the Premier League curtain raiser against West Ham United, but here are a couple of things we learned from Tuesday’s night clash in Skopje, Macedonia.
Nemanja Matic proves his value: The 29-year-old managed just 47 minutes in a pre-season game for United before facing Real Madrid. Mourinho had initially hinted that Matic could come off the bench, and it was a pleasant surprise that he was named in the starting lineup. With no practice games at former club Chelsea, Matic would have been forgiven for coming up with a lacklustre performance, but he was one of the players, who showed up on the night. The Serbian was partly responsible for United’s goal after his long-range strike was deflected by Navas into the path of Lukaku, who gave a lifeline.
Marouane Fellaini a handy ‘plan B’: Despite his critics, the Belgium international looked the most threatening of United’s players after he came on for Ander Herrera in the second period. Fellaini encouraged the Red Devils to use a direct approach, and this nearly saw Marcus Rashford pull things level after he gathered a long pass into the path of the Englishman. Mourinho recently insisted that Fellaini has no chance of leaving Old Trafford this summer, and the 29-year-old could be expected to play a prominent role, be it from the substitutes’ bench.
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