Zinédine Zidane makes it five in a row, Real Madrid's scoring machine rumbles on and United's new boys provide hope – our experts in Skopje pick out four takeaways.
Article top media content
Zidane's Midas touch
That's five final wins out of five for Zinédine Zidane as Merengues boss and you needn't look any further than the two goalscorers in Skopje to see what an impact he has made. Casemiro's importance to this side has grown exponentially during the Frenchman's 18-month reign and not just in defence: he found the net in June's UEFA Champions League final, too.
Isco, meanwhile, has excelled at the tip of the midfield diamond that Zidane adopted in the last few months of last season. There were times when he ran the midfield against the more physical duo of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matić.
United have gap to bridge
The first hour was a reminder of the gap that United (sixth in the Premier League last season, remember) must bridge to return to Europe's elite. This is a team that has not played a UEFA Champions League semi-final since 2011. It looked that way as Madrid controlled the game and United sat deep, showing their opponents arguably too much respect.
They improved thanks to Marouane Fellaini – not the most fashionable of footballers, but a highly effective one whose presence in the Madrid half ensured the English side could finally hold on to the ball without it coming right back at them.
66 in a row
Real Madrid scored in every game they played last season and it took just 24 minutes for them to get off the mark this campaign. The Spanish side had already twice gone close when Casemiro stole in behind the Red Devils' defence to produce a perfect finish on the half-volley from Dani Carvajal's wonderful ball.
It is now 66 competitive games in a row in which Madrid have scored – a run dating back to the first-leg stalemate against Manchester City in the 2016 UEFA Champions League semi-finals.
United new boys show the way
Tonight was an opportunity to cast an eye over United's three new boys. It was not an easy debut for Victor Lindelof while Matić worked hard to try to stem the flow, brought composure on the ball and played a part in the United goal.
Romelu Lukaku left the most obvious imprint, joining a long list of Old Trafford favourites – including Denis Law, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Wayne Rooney – to score on his debut. It was a mixed night for the Belgian, who missed a clear close-range opportunity before he found the net, but one thing he will do for United is score goals.