Only a few Manchester United players really stood on Tuesday evening as Real Madrid narrowly toppled Mourinho's men 2-1, courtesy of goals from Casemiro and Isco, to clinch their third UEFA Super Cup in four years.
Los Blancos were in control for the vast majority of proceedings in Skopje, which served as a clear reminder of how far behind the Reds are at the moment in terms of individual and collective quality.
Defence breached far too often, as de Gea reminds us why Real want him
David de Gea - 8: It might be a new season, but it doesn’t look like David de Gea has changed one bit as he reminded the United faithful about how important preventing a return to Spain for another summer is. Neither of the goals conceded were his fault after the defence was easily beaten on both occasions and Casemiro and Isco were put through one on one. De Gea produced a few fine stops to ensure the Reds stayed in the game.
Antonio Valencia - 7: It wasn’t Antonio Valencia’s finest outing in a Manchester United shirt as Real’s attacking link-up brilliance proved too much for him, but the Ecuadorian looked like his side’s most dangerous attacking threat at times. You can already tell he’s going to thrive in a 3-5-2 system this season if José Mourinho doesn’t abandon what he’s recently been practising, but his impact was vanquished in this clash after the formation changed to a 4-3-3 just before half-time.
Chris Smalling - 6: United’s defensive unit as a whole looked pretty shaky on the night. However, Chris Smalling was probably the silver lining and in a way looked like "Mike", a name given to him by a confused Louis van Gaal during a stellar season in 2015/2016, had returned to his body. A number of brave blocks were made while he was continuously instructing the inexperienced Victor Lindelöf, who was unfairly making his debut in such big circumstances.
Victor Lindelöf - 5: I’m sure José Mourinho would’ve wanted to ease Lindelöf into a regular first choice centre-back, however, after harsh suspensions handed out to Phil Jones and Eric Bailly there wasn’t really any alternative partners for Smalling in the heart of the back line. The Swedish international seemed vulnerable to lobbed balls over the top throughout the whole of the match and clearly still has a lot more learning to do. The potential is there though.
Matteo Darmian - 6: It looks like Matteo Darmian is heading into the 2017/18 season as a starter at left-back after Daley Blind endured a pretty poor pre-season, while Luke Shaw continues to return to full fitness. He was strangely started as a left-sided centre-back last night but proved that he shouldn’t be utilised as one in future by being repeatedly bullied off the ball and getting undone easily.
Matić impresses again, while Fellaini makes positive impact off bench
Nemanja Matić - 8: Barring de Gea’s heroics, Nemanja Matić was my, and many others’, Man of the Match after a confident debut display behind Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba in the middle of the park. The balance he brings to this Manchester United side can’t be underlined enough and the Chelsea owners were crazy to let him go, much to the disagreement of manager Antonio Conte judging by the Italian’s latest comments.
Ander Herrera - 5: The Spanish fan favourite was right at home in the middle of the Reds’ 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 system last season, and that was backed up when he claimed the Player of the Year award, but it looks like he’ll take some time to adapt to the 3-5-2. Herrera and Pogba found themselves completely overrun by the formidable trio of Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric in the first half, and is most likely why Mourinho switched to a more familiar formation which prompted a much better second period.
Paul Pogba - 6: We saw a mixture of good and bad traits from Paul Pogba in the Super Cup. He looked to keep the ball to himself and undertake the impossible task of solely dazzling the Real Madrid midfield, which obviously ended up in United not keeping possession for more than 15 seconds. After talking to the manager at half-time, the dynamic Frenchman obviously took note and looked a lot more disciplined after the break and created more chances but it was, unfortunately, a case of too little too late.
Marouane Fellaini (substitute) - 7: Masses of outrage sprung across social media when it was revealed that Marouane Fellaini was coming on when the score turned 2-0. One tweet read: “Two goals down, 30 minutes left, being overrun by the best team in the world, who are you going to call? Marouane Fellaini, of course.” But the big Belgian actually made a positive impact on the game and highlighted why, even though he shouldn’t be starting, he has a big part to play in José Mourinho’s plans.
The first of many for Romelu Lukaku on his official debut
Henrikh Mkhitaryan - 6: Mkhitaryan once again showed positive signs that he can flourish as a second striker behind Lukaku as part of a 3-5-2 by showing quick feet and a creative mind. However, his final product wasn’t good enough throughout the whole of the 97 minutes and subsequently struggled to make an impact. If his pre-season form is anything to go by though, he’s got a massive year ahead of him at Old Trafford.
Jesse Lingard - 4: Jesse Lingard’s a good footballer and only at the age of 24, but how he remains in the starting line-up picture while players like Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are having to fight for their place is a mystery. It’s understandable that Mourinho needed his attacking players to help defend in certain situations, Lingard’s good at that, but he didn’t live up to the monumental task at hand and was deservedly taken off after just 45 minutes.
Romelu Lukaku - 7: As one of England’s greatest ever scorers Gary Lineker has previously said, Romelu Lukaku will miss a few good chances at Manchester United, but he’ll score a lot of goals. The Red Devils’ new no. 9 struggled as much as anyone to breach Real’s powerful defence and skied a glorious one on one chance from seven yards out in the second half. He responded well though, by pouncing on Keylor Navas’ fumbling of Nemanja Matić’s long range effort and netting on his debut for the club just past the 60-minute mark.
Marcus Rashford (substitute) - 6: Rashford entered the game at a really difficult point and as a result failed to make a huge impact on the left flank.