Casemiro put the reigning European champions in front on 24 minutes on a steamy summer’s night in the Balkans and Isco doubled their lead seven minutes into the second half after a one-two with Gareth Bale.
The gulf in class between Madrid — for whom Cristiano Ronaldo appeared as a late substitute — and Europa League winners United that Jose Mourinho had feared was all too evident and it looked like the Spaniards would go on to win by a wider margin.
But Romelu Lukaku pulled one back just past the hour, marking his competitive debut for United with a goal and sparking a big improvement from the Premier League club in the final stages.
It was to no avail, with Zinedine Zidane’s side winning this trophy for the second year running and the fourth time overall. It is the eighth time in nine years that a Spanish club has won the Super Cup.