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Three things we learned from the UEFA Super Cup defeat against Real Madrid

United had no answer for the 12 time Champions league winners. The Spanish side dominated possession from start to finish, enjoying a chorus of ole’s. Real Madrid’s 2-1 win over Manchester United was painful to endure, but a few good lessons were learned ahead of the upcoming season.

The 3-5-2 is here to stay

 

Jose Mourinho set his team up in a 3-5-2, pairing Mkhitaryan with Lukaku up top. This isn’t the first time he’s chosen this formation and from the looks of things, it certainly won’t be the last. This looks to be his preferred formation against high calibre opponents. Using two forwards up front, his team can defend deep and then break at pace in transition. It didn’t quite come off in the Super Cup, but it has the potential to be devastating this season.

Herrera on another man marking job

 

Ander Herrera was once again given a man marking brief, but one less strict than the one ordered against Eden Hazard. This time, United’s favourite son was up against Toni Kroos, who is arguably the best midfielder in world football at the moment. While he was able to apply copious amounts of pressure, Herrera could only really cause Kroos moments of slight discomfort. The German technician starts for the world’s best team for a reason and he showed why last night, constantly finding pockets of space deep in midfield. The important things to recognise are that not every Premier League team has a Toni Kroos, and that Herrera is more than capable of leading United’s press. This midfield press that Mourinho enjoys employing will lead to turnovers and, hopefully, more goals.

Another goal for Lukaku

 

United’s Belgian marksman found the net once again in what was otherwise a quiet game for him. Isolated for much of the match, Lukaku was able to pounce upon a Keylor Navas rebound from a stinging shot by United new boy Nemanja Matic. Despite a rather lacklustre game, it is good to see that Lukaku can still grab goals for the side.

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