Manchester United’s 2017/18 season proper kicked off with a trip to Skopje for a UEFA Super Cup meeting with Real Madrid.
Though Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils came up short, losing 2-1, they got the chance to test themselves against the back-to-back European Champions; exactly the kind of opposition they’ll need to get used to playing against now that they’ve returned to the Champions League.
Mourinho named a familiar line-up, one which gave their fans the chance to see all three summer signings make their official debut for the club.
Stranded by his defence on both goals. Produced some fine goalkeeping to stop Real Madrid from scoring a third, particularly when he kept out Marco Asensio’s strike from point-blank range in added time.
Got into good positions going forward and proved a handful for Marcelo, beating him a few times in one-on-one situations, but switched off for Isco’s goal.
Thrown straight into the deep end against some of Europe’s best attackers. Had to deal with a lot of pressure during United’s long spells out of possession, lost sight of Casemiro for the opener and didn’t cover himself in glory for Isco’s goal either. Not a great start for the Swede.
An assured performance from the Englishman. Read the play well, was tidy in possession and made some vital blocks.
Deployed in a slightly unconventional left-centre back role in Mourinho’s back three, and did well to keep Gareth Bale relatively quiet. Made a fine challenge on Karim Benzema late in the game to prevent a third goal.
Often tucked in deep alongside Matteo Darmian in a fluid system that went from 3-5-2 to 4-3-3 depending on the situation. Regardless, he was ineffective, and had the fewest touches out of any starting outfield player – just 23.
Exactly the kind of player United were missing last season. Matic held down the midfield, keeping his side ticking with accurate distribution and broke up the play with four tackles.
Not shy of taking initiative in big games, but that often leads to him making more selfish decisions. Did exactly that when he decided to shoot from range on a United counter-attack, and should have scored from Ander Herrera’s cross. Worked hard for his side, laying on five tackles – the joint-most of the game alongside Casemiro.
Wasn’t one of his finer performances. Other than a glorious cross to find Paul Pogba inside the box, Herrera didn’t have a huge influence over the game, and was hooked shortly after the break.
An early nutmeg on Sergio Ramos nearly found him one-on-one with Keylor Navas, before he went to ground too easily, and played the killer ball for Marcus Rashford when Real Madrid’s defence were out of position. Should play a much bigger role this season.
Made some nice linking touches early on, but faded as he was forced to feed off scraps when Zinedine Zidane’s troops took control of the game. Squandered a guilt-edged chance after Keylor Navas pushed Paul Pogba’s header straight to him, but made up for it when he pounced on Navas’ spillage to score United’s consolation goal.
Dangerous when he isolates an opposition marker, turning Dani Carvajal inside out on one occasion, but wasted a huge chance when he was put through on goal by Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Made an impact in his cameo appearance.
Brings an obvious quality to the side with his height and strength. United looked more threatening with him on the pitch. Looks like he has a role to play in the coming season after rumours of his exit.