For the eighth time in nine years, a Spanish team has won the UEFA Super Cup. This glorified exhibition between the last season’s Champions League and Europa League champions was claimed by Real Madrid for a third time in four years.
As it happens, the most successful club in continental soccer has also been European champion three times in four years. So the 2-1 win over Manchester United in Macedonia on Tuesday didn’t exactly cement this dynasty, but did add a little more polish to its shine.
Real took a two-goal lead thanks to Casemiro and Isco, before Romelu Lukaku cut it in half with his first competitive(ish) goal for United.
But if the score was close, the game itself didn’t really feel that way for much of it. Until Real, which started its preseason a week after United did and has played fewer games, tired in the last half hour or so, the Spaniards were utterly dominant.
Real had United largely pinned back early on. Although, as often, that felt like a conscious tactical choice by former Real and current United manager Jose Mourinho. Black jerseys swarmed around the United area until they finally broke through in the 24th minute.
Wave after wave of Real attacks stranded in United’s box, but then Dani Carvajal flipped a ball over the top into the path of Casemiro, who slid it behind David De Gea. Was he offside? Maybe a tad. But the goal stood anyway. And it wasn’t undeserved for being dubious. [/restrict]