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What we learnt from the 2017 UEFA Super Cup

In 2017’s version of the UEFA Super Cup, it was the Champions League winners Real Madrid that reigned victorious. Los Blancos defeated the Europa League winners, Manchester United 2-1 with goals from Casemiro and Isco.

The victory continues Madrid’s recent tradition of European domination. They’re now the first team to win consecutive UEFA Super Cups since AC Milan in 1990. For United, they look forward to the start of the Premier League on Sunday as they welcome West Ham to Old Trafford.

Here’s what we learn from the 2017 UEFA Super Cup.

 

Real Madrid are a level above

 

Back in May we saw Manchester United bully & dominate a young Ajax side, the term ‘men vs. boys’ springs to mind. But last night, those tables were turned and Manchester United were made to look like the inferior team. There’s a reason why Real Madrid are known as the best side in the world right now, because they’re literally miles clear of anyone else.

Even with a starting XI that excluded Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid dominated the game from start to finish, as Kroos, Modric and Isco ran rings around United’s midfield trio. Los Blancos dominated 63.4% of the game’s possession, maintaining 87.6% passing accuracy. In response to the control, José Mourinho ignored the £147.96million he’s spent this summer by reverting to good old Marouane Fellaini as his plan B.

 

Romelu Lukaku needs service

The Manchester United of the early noughties were an attacking powerhouse that dominated the flanks and overloaded the middle. This United must replicate those antics as they have all the tools to do so. In Romelu Lukaku they have a target man that’s quick enough to latch on to all types of crosses, on top of that, they have fast wingers in Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford & Jesse Lingard.

On his competitive debut, Romelu Lukaku scored a 5-yard tap in to reduce the arrears to 2-1. Apart from that and an open goal miss, the Belgian was anonymous. José Mourinho didn’t set the team up in a way that would allow him to replicate his impressive form at Everton.

Instead, Mourinho tried to force the Belgian to get involved in intricate link-up play, even though he’d prefer attacking, whipped crosses instead. He may have scored on his debut, but if this is how United are to play for the rest of the season, the club certainly won’t be getting value for money.

 

Gareth Bale is still valued by Zidane

 

For the past two weeks, rumours of a Gareth Bale move to Old Trafford have been ever present. The Welshman’s injury-hit but lacklustre season caused fans to question his overall worth to the team besides marketability. The 28-year old only scored 7 league goals last season, a tally not good enough for the Galacticos of the Bernabéu.

In his pre-match press conference, José Mourinho stated that if Zidane didn’t involve Bale in the Super Cup, then it’d be a clear indication that the Welshman could leave this summer. The Frenchman responded by shockingly starting the winger, showing the world that Gareth Bale will be a key feature for Real Madrid this season.

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