It was just not Ajax’s night in the Europa League final as Manchester United proved just too strong for a young Ajax side. The English giants lifted the trophy after a 2-0 win in Stockholm.

Ajax took their place in a European final for the first time since 1996 and dreamed of their first major trophy in 22 years. However, it was to be Manchester United’s night in Stockholm as they poignantly lifted the trophy just days after the shocking bombing in the city.

After an even opening which saw neither side go close, Manchester United took the lead thanks to an error in the Ajax defence. Jairo Riedewald sloppily gave possession to United just outside the box from a throw-in and when the ball landed at the feet of Paul Pogba, he struck a deflected effort over the despairing Andre Onana and into the net.

For the rest of the first half, Manchester United were happy for Ajax to have possession with the Amsterdam side unable to trouble their defence. The English side did a good job of hounding Hakim Ziyech and Bertrand Traore, which left Kasper Dolberg an isolated figure up front. When Traore did get free on one occasion he played a clever one-two with Davy Klaassen, but the ball was nicked from his foot by Daley Blind before he could strike.

Minutes into the second half, Manchester United won their first corner of the match and after Ajax couldn’t clear, Henrik Mkhitaryan swept the ball past Onana to make it 2-0.

Then just like the first half, Ajax failed to find their rhythm in attack and there was to be no glorious comeback from the Dutch side as Manchester United snuffed out all their attack’s easily. Ajax’s only real chance came with 20 minutes to go when a handball on the edge of the box gifted them a free kick but Ziyech’s effort was poor and straight at the wall.

Ajax’s return to the European summit didn’t go as hoped and Peter Bosz will be disappointed that his players couldn’t make an impact on the night. It will be a night of disappointment in Amsterdam, but the club and fans can be proud of the run they have made to the final with a side so young.




admin (9126 Posts)

Follow @Footballoranje_ on Twitter