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Man United crowned Europa League champions!

Europa League By: Olakunle Brown | 24/05/2017

Manchester United became the first premier league side to qualify to the UEFA Champions League from the Europa League when they defeated Ajax 2-0 at the Friends Arena in Stockholm.

Paul Pogba gave the Red Devils the lead in the first half and Henrikh Mkhitaryan grabbed the second in the second half.

Ajax manager Peter Bosz made just one change from the side that played the semifinal against Lyon as Riedewald came in at left-back for  Viergever who picked up a red card in that match.

Jose Mourinho brought in Juan Mata for Jesse Lingard in the starting line-up while Chris Smalling replaced suspended Eric Bailly for Manchester United.

First Half

There was a minute applaud for the 22 dead victims in the Manchester attack.

It was a very lively start to the game as both sides went for the kill early on. There was an early scare for Ajax as goalkeeper Onana collided with defender Veltman while trying to defend a cross from Juan Mata.

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However, Ajax had the first real opportunity of the match as Younes danced past Ander Herrera before releasing Traore but the on loan Blues fan had his left foot shot saved by Sergio Romero in goal for United.

The Red Devils eventually took the lead as Paul Pogba received a pass from Fellaini and his left foot shot was deflected by Ajax defender Sanchez and it took a wicked deflection past the goalkeeper to make it 1-0.

Ajax pressed for the equalizer as Manchester United sat back to suck the pressure and play on counter-attack. Antonio Valencia dashed down the right flank after receiving a great pass and first a powerful right foot shot straight at the goalkeeper.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan became the first player to go into the referee’s books as he was booked for a foul on Veltman. It was tighter from there on as the first half ended in favour of United.

Second Half

Ajax began the second half very well as they went in search of a way back into the game. But it was Manchester United that extended their lead as Henrikh Mkhitaryan pounced on a knock down from Chris Smalling and scored with an overhead to make it 2-0.

Ajax substituted star player Kasper Dolberg as he had no influence on the match at all. Fellaini had the opportunity to make it three but his header was easily saved by the goalkeeper. At the other end, Ajax had a freekick on the edge of the United box when Mkhitaryan was adjudged to had handled the ball but the resultant freekick was blocked by the wall.

Ajax had the chance to score a consolation goal at the dealt but despite beating Sergio Romero, Valencia was on hand to clear the ball as the game finished 2-0 and sent United into the UEFA Champions League as winners of the Europa League.
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