A narrow 2-1 win that gives Real Madrid the 2017 Super Cup, but a general gulf in quality between them and Manchester United that explains why the Spanish side won it and why they are European champions.
Jose Mourinho’s side still look very far off this level, and look even more like they could do with a forward of, oh, maybe Gareth Bale’s level. The winger had set up the brilliant Isco’s clinching goal and was supremely effective, but Real’s whole attack just looked so effervescent in contrast to Manchester United ’s.
Three positives for Manchester United at least were a first official club goal for Romelu Lukaku, the performance of Nemanja Matic as Real really made him work, and the knowledge they won’t face a side anywhere near this good in the Premier League.
It was also selection, mind, that added one of the game’s main points of intrigue.
It didn’t take too long for Real to show them that would also involve much greater risk, too, and it’s not usually the type of risk that Mourinho stands for too long either.
It might have been offside, but was not out of keeping with the pattern of the game. Real more than deserved their lead, and might have added to it when Karim Benzema forced a strong hand from David De Gea.
The contrast between the attacks wasn’t helped by the contrasts in execution. Manchester United went straight up the other end to fashion a chance with a good old-fashioned cross, only for Pogba to head directly at Keylor Navas and then Lukaku to somehow put the parried ball yards over the bar.
It did pin Real back, and led to United’s best worked move of the game, as Mkhitaryan fed Rashford for the young forward to just shoot wide.