Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was satisfied with the way his team performed despite losing 2-1 to Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup in Skopje on Tuesday.
“I am happy with many things of the performance. We don’t have in the Premier League Real Madrid — the top teams in the Premier League have different qualities and there are no replicas of (Luka) Modric, (Toni) Kroos, Isco or Casemiro,” said Mourinho.
Casemiro gave Madrid, the reigning European champions, the lead in the first half at the Philip II Arena and Isco made it 2-0 shortly after the break.
But Romelu Lukaku pulled one back for United in an improved second half and Mourinho added: “We found a way to give them difficulties in the second half, gave them football they don’t like and I am really happy with our reaction.”
The outcome might have been different had Lukaku not missed one great chance just before finding the net and had Keylor Navas not denied Marcus Rashford late on.
“We had a big chance to score just after they went 2-0 up and after it went to 2-1 Rashford was face to face with the goalkeeper. We had a fight until the last seconds and to do that I think is great.”
Mourinho did not keep his runners-up medal, choosing instead to give it to a young United fan in the crowd.
“Sometimes when I win I don’t keep the medals, so imagine when I lose,” he joked.
“For me the medal will go some place in my house and for that kid it’s the moon. For sure he will keep it and remember it.
“He was a little kid with a Man United shirt. I have no idea where he comes from but I think he’ll never forget.”
Provided by AFP
Real Madrid beat Manchester United 2-1 to win the UEFA Super Cup in the Macedonian capital Skopje on Tuesday.
Goals in each half from Casemiro and Isco had the reigning European champions two ahead before Romelu Lukaku pulled one back.
It is the second year running Madrid have won the trophy, contested by the holders of the Champions League and Europa League.
While Madrid’s new signing Theo Hernandez didn’t make it onto the field, three of United’s new recruits did feature from the start.
Here’s a look at how they fared.
It was a decent debut for Nemanja Matic in a Red shirt. He stopped a few attacks dead in their tracks, getting the better of Gareth Bale, Isco, Casemiro and Karim Benzema on separate occasions.
His positioning was top notch and he managed to find a couple of good passes as well. At one point though, he bizarrely stood still, expecting David de Gea to claim a looping ball into the box but the Spaniard stayed on his line and Bale’s impromptu flick towards goal went just off target.
He was suspect for the second goal when he appeared to lose his footing at the crucial moment and Isco was played clean through inside the box and curled his effort into the far corner.
At the other end though, it was his shot from distance that Keylor Navas spilled which led to Lukaku finishing from close range.
Lindelof has had a less than convincing pre-season with United and that trend continued into the Super Cup tie. Despite looking a bit nervy, he didn’t do too much wrong but was at fault for the opening goal.
Casemiro managed to run in behind him too easily and scored from Dani Carvajal’s ball over the top. Antonio Valencia must also shoulder some of the blame for not covering while the Real Madrid midfielder was marginally offside, it must be said.
Lindelof did prevent a certain goal in the 61st minute though when Carvajal drilled a ball across the face of goal where Benzema was waiting to stab home. The Swede did brilliantly to get a foot to the ball through the striker’s legs.
Lukaku got his debut goal on the night when he slotted home the rebound from Matic’s initial effort.
Earlier in the second half though, the Belgian was guilty of missing from point-blank range, skying his right-footed effort on the half-volley after Navas had parried Paul Pogba’s header perfectly into his path.
He did start the game on very well though, operating as the focal point of United’s attack. The striker showed a few neat touches as his teammates played the ball off him to good effect.
Mario Balotelli has again been caught speeding in his Ferrari, police told AFP Tuesday as media reports claimed the striker had been caught doing 170-200kmh (105-125mph) in a race with a friend’s Lamborghini.
The former Manchester City and Liverpool striker, now at French club Nice, was stopped by a highway patrol on the A4 highway near the northern Italian town of Vicenza on Saturday, a local officer told AFP.
Media reports claimed Balotelli had been doing up to 200kmh but had escaped with a fine and five penalty points because he had only been registered at 170kmh.
The police confirmed the star had been caught and fined, along with the Lamborghini driver, but described accounts of the incident as “exaggerated”.
They would not divulge how fast Balotelli had been going but said he had been allowed to continue his journey after paying his fine and having five penalty points registered on his licence.
Balotelli racked up no fewer than 18 fines for mostly speeding offences in the space of two years in Italy in 2012 and 2013, often on the same A4 road.
In 2015, when he was playing for Liverpool, he was banned from driving for 28 days after being clocked driving at 109mph (175kmh) on the M62 motorway in northern England.
A Vicenza police spokesman said that, in contrast to some of his previous encounters with traffic police, Balotelli had apologised and calmly accepted his punishment.