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Ajax 0-2 Manchester United

  • Manchester United deliver tactical display to beat Ajax 2-0 and achieve Europa League glory.
  • Goals from Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan guided United to victory.
  • Ajax boast a smorgasbord of vibrant, young talent but were overawed by the occasion.
  • Both sides paid tribute to the victims and those affected by the Manchester terror attack.
Manchester United

Jose Mourinho's men have done the job in Stockholm. Goals from Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan ensured United's tactically masterful display ended with glory and the promise of Champions League football next season.

Mourinho showed what the result meant to him after the final whistle after being stone faced throughout. Manchester may have been devastated by the horrific events on Monday, but the Red Devils have done their city proud tonight.

That's it from IB Times UK. Have a very good evening.

Manchester United

Full-time: Ajax 0-2 Manchester United

Manchester United are Europa League winners!

Rooney replaces Mata as we head into stoppage time. The United captain comes on for his 559th and potentially final appearance for the club.

Four minutes of stoppage time, United have their hands on the trophy.

Lingard came so close to making it three for United and three for him in cup finals, but Sanchez raced back to stop the England international at the vital moment.

At the other end, Van de Beek cuts inside Smalling but his shot is held well by Romero.

Rooney is set to come on as Mourinho makes his final change.

Bosz makes another change as De Jong replaces Riedewald, while Mourinho is set to bring off Rashford for Anthony Martial.

Ajax press patiently for a way back but Sanchez, who was almost left red-faced at the other end by Fellaini, blasts way over.

Just over six minutes left to play.

Tempers boil over as Herrera squares up to Klaassen and Ziyech. Mata caught Van Ligt very late and deserved a yellow card, but his challenger also drew the ire of a number of Ajax players. Riedewald was also cautioned for his part in the handbags.

Lingard is involved from the off as he feeds Pogba intelligently. The Frenchman then exchanges passes with Rashford before colliding with an Ajax defender, but referee Skomina saw nothing untoward.

Mkhitaryan is withdrawn for Lingard. The Armenia may well have scored the goal that ensures United glory tonight and Champions League football next season.

Lingard, who has scored in FA Cup and EFL Cup finals, gets quarter of an hour to see if he can make it a hat-trick.

Referee Skomina awards a free-kick to ajax just outside the box as he adjudges Mkhitaryan to be guilty of handball.

Ziyech and Van de Beek stand over the ball. The former takes and manages to hit his own player in the wall. Really not Ajax's night so far.

Changes for both teams as Schones is replaced by Van de Beek for Ajax. Jesse Lingard is set to come on for Manchester United.

Ajax attack well but Ziyech ends all momentum by going for the spectacular when he maybe should have sought to pass.

Ajax come again through Younes and Traore and win another corner out of Smalling, but it comes to nothing. United quickly dart up the other end through Rashford but he is eventually stopped in his tracks by Van Ligt.

Younes is the next Ajax player to pick up a yellow card. The attacker pulled back Valencia, who overpowered him physically.

United work the ball from free-kick well, ending with Pogba teeing up Fellaini to power a header at goal. The Belgian can only find the hands of Onana with his effort, though.

Bosz rolls the dice as the ineffective Dolberg is replaced by young Brazilian David Neres, a £10m January recruit. Less than half an hour for Ajax to change proceedings.

Mata wins a free-kick from Veltman, who receives a yellow card for his part in the tussle.

The Spaniard then goes down in the area as Van Ligt brushes him aside, but it's simply great defensive work from the 17-year-old.

Younes is picked out brilliantly by Ziyech but Valencia shepherds him away from goal.

Traore picks up the pieces and Ajax eventually win a corner, given away needlessly by Pogba.

A wonderfully ingeuitive strike from Mkhitaryan doubles United's lead!

Mata's corner is headed down by Smalling, and Mkhitaryan is the first to react as he hooks the ball brilliantly past Onana.

Huge goal.

GOAL! Ajax 0-2 Manchester United (Mkhitaryan)

Ajax have started the second half brightly and were building up a head of steam before Younes fouled Fellaini.

The Belgian almost proves influential at the other end as he trots into the area, but Sanchez manages to hook the ball away for a corner.

Both sets of players are now back on the pitch. Kasper Dolberg gets the second half under way. The Dane was remarkably quiet in the first period.

Half-time: Ajax 0-1 Manchester United

Jose Mourinho's men are in front thanks to Paul Pogba's deflected effort. United started much brighter and looked dangerous through Rashford, but after a shaky start Ajax have grown into the game, with Traore looking lively.

It's not been a classic, but there's still all to play for in the Swedish capital.

Manchester United

Traore plays a neat one-two with with Klaassen but Darmian does excellently to get his body between him and the ball and quell the growing danger.

One minute of stoppage time to be played, United set to go in with the lead.

Valencia raids down the right once again and attempts to find Fellaini, but his cross fails to reach the Belgian.

Soon after Sanchez almost gifts United a second as he dallies with the ball on the edge of his area. Rashford almost pounces, but the Ajax man just about recovered.

Traore sets off on a spellbinding run, evading Pogba, Fellaini and Blind. Smalling eventually clears and Pogba wins a foul to stem the Ajax tide.

Less than 10 minutes until half-time.

Ajax look dangerous as they flash a wicked ball across the six yard box, but Dolberg could not stretch and get on the end of it.

The Dutch outfit are constantly looking to switch the play to Riedewald, who is up against the impressive Valencia, United's captain for the evening.

Rashford bursts into the penalty area and receives a robust challenge from De Ligt. Firm but fair, but Rashford did feel the full effects of the solid defensive work.

Yellow card for Mkhitaryan, the first of the night. The Armenian has been guilty of giving away a number of fouls and referee Skomina has seen enough to reach for his pocket.

Unbridled joy from Pogba, who has put his team in front.

Paul Pogba

Valencia raids down the right hand side and shoots fiercely at Onana, who can only parry the ball away.

Rashford then peels off into the channel but ends up running the ball out of play.

Darmian concedes a corner from a whipped Schone delivery. Ziyech takes but Pogba heads away, Traore then goes for glory but is nullified by Mkhitaryan. Strong defensive effort from United there.

Manchester United strike first in the final!

An awful throw-in from Riedewald finds Mata, who works the ball to Pogba. The Frenchman makes himself some space to shoot, and his low drive deflects wickedly off of Sanchez and loops over the helpless Onana.

GOAL! Ajax 0-1 Manchester United (Pogba)

Not much in the way of chances so far but Ajax are now starting to venture forward.

Traore darts past some challenges and fizzes a shot at Romero, who deals with the shot comfortably.

Pogba wins the ball and fizzes a lovely ball into Rashford's path. His cross is a poor one, but the ball is eventually worked to Mata, who almost finds Fellaini with a well-struck delivery.

Rashford tries to burst away from the Ajax backline but their press is super effective.

United have looked more dangerous offensively but are still yet to carve Ajax open, although Mkhitaryan threatened to do so a moment ago.

Kick-off in Stockholm, and United have started brightly.

Mix-up between Onana and Veltman hands Pogba a difficult opportunity, which he scuffs wide.

The players and officials have emerged from the tunnel, minute's silence set to commence.

The referee for tonight is Damir Skomina.

The teams are in the tunnel. Kick-off at the Friends Arena around five minutes away.

Both sides have finished their pre-match warm-ups and have retreated to the dressing room.

Kick-off is just 15 minutes away. The sound of 'Glory Man United' rings around the Friends Arena.

A reminder that there will be a minute's silence to remember the victims and those affected by the terrorist attack in Manchester.

Players will also wear black armbands, while UEFA have reduced their opening ceremony as a mark of respect.


A reminder of tonight's all-important team news:

Manchester United: Sergio Remero, Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Daley Blind, Matte Darmian, Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Substitutes: David De Gea, Phil Jones, Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Michael Carrick, Timothy Fosu-Mensah.

Ajax: Andre Onana, Joel Veltman, Davinson Sanchez, Matthijs De Ligt, Jairo Riedewald, Davy Klaassen, Lasse Schone, Hakim Ziyech, Bertrand Traore, Kasper Dolberg, Amin Younes.

Substitutes: Diederik Boer, Kenny Tete, Heiko Westermann, Frenkie De Jong, Donny Van De Beek, Justin Kluivert, David Neres.

Manchester United supporters

A poignant video from Manchester United.

25 minutes until kick-off.

Mourinho has revealed why he chose Smalling to start against Ajax.

"It was a choice between Smalling and Jones - I was pushed to choose Chris because he has 1 week in advance of Jones in terms of form.

"From a professional point of view, I think we are ready. We've come here to do our job as best as we can."

Chris Smalling and Phil Jones

In what universe do they look like they are doing that?

Manchester United legend and Champions League winner Dwight Yorke had has his say on the match in Stockholm, and believes his former side need to secure victory in order to avoid disaster.

"United have gone three seasons now without winning the league and for a club of Manchester United's standards that is just not acceptable at all and considering the money they have spent this season to not end up in the Champions League will be absolutely disastrous," Yorke said.

"It's as important as the '99 final but for different reasons. We were creating history, to do something at the club nobody had been able to do. But in terms of laying down the foundations moving forward for this club that has not done anything meaningful in the Champions League for three seasons and to see the likes of Liverpool and Spurs in the Champions League and not Manchester United would be absolutely disastrous."

Read more from Yorke here.

Dwight Yorke on Van Gaal, Man Utd and the World Cup
IBTimes UK

The Red Devils are in the building.

In the build-up to today's match, IB Times UK caught up with Sander Zeldenrijk, chief editor of news paper Ajax Life, to grill on everything to do with the Dutch powerhouse.

Here is a snippet of what he said:

Pride is the best word to describe this feeling," Zeldenrijk said. "Not only for reaching the final but also the way they achieved it in the famous philosophy. Of course it's not the Champions League like in 1995, but the first step has been made. Now it's up to the club and board to maintain this level and not make it an incidental success."

Read all about it here.

Johan Cruyff

The Ajax wonderkids pictured absorbing the atmosphere created by their fervent fans.


More of the Ajax supporters. Their players have gone on a customary pre-match walk around the pitch. If they did not know what is expected of them, they surely do now.

Ajax supporters

Still an hour until kick-off. Tremendous support from the Ajax contingent.

Mourinho has kept his word by starting Sergio Romero ahead of David de Gea, while Chris Smalling, Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini are all notable selections for one reason or another.

Mata has enjoyed a productive season, Fellaini and Smalling less so. Will the restored trio help United to Europa League glory this evening?

Juan Mata

Now that is quite something.

Whether they win or lose, this bunch of Ajax youngsters are certainly destined for bright footballing futures.

A former Ajax hero will be in attendance at the Friends Arena tonight.

Patrick, now director of football at PSG, will be hoping to see his son Justin come off the bench for Peter Bosz's side tonight.


Ajax substitutes: Boer, Tete, Westermann, De Jong, Van der Beek, Kluivert, Neres.


Ajax: Onana; Veltman, De Ligt, Sánchez, Riedewald; Klaassen (c), Schöne, Ziyech; Traoré, Dolberg, Younes.


Manchester United substitutes: De Gea, Jones, Rooney, Martial, Lingard, Carrick, Fosu-Mensah.


Manchester United: Romero, Valencia (c), Smalling, Blind, Darmian, Herrera, Fellaini, Pogba, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Rashford.

Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera thinks Jose Mourinho's men will need the help of injured veterans Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ashley Young as they bid for Europa League glory against Ajax.

Despite their absence on the pitch, Herrera, recently named as Manchester United's player of the year, thinks the injured pair will still be able to contribute positively to their side in Sweden and stressed that any potential success will come as a result of the efforts of the team, not an individual.

"Of course 11 players will be on the pitch but everyone is ready to help and push for their team-mates," Herrera said. "So, if we win it, it will be for everyone. Everyone has been part of this. Zlatan and Ash (Young) have very good experience. We need everyone.

"When you want to win a European trophy and you want to make a good season, it is not only on the pitch, you need help from the outside. Zlatan is here to help, Ash is also here to help. We are a team who is together. Everyone is important."

Read more from Herrera here.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ander Herrera
Herrera thinks Ibrahimovic and Young can still contribute positively ahead of the Europa League final. Reuters

Manchester United fans display their support and a message of defiance.

Despite the recent goings on in their home city, Manchester United supporters can still crack a smile.

Will they be grinning from ear to ear come full-time?

Ajax vs Manchester United

The stage is set in Stockholm...

We start, unfortunately, on a sombre note.

Ajax manager Peter Bosz has expressed his sympathy for those affected by the terror attack in Manchester on Monday night (22 May) and believes the 'glow' has been taken off the Europa League final between his side and Manchester United.

Twenty-two people were killed and another 59 were injured by a suspected suicide bomber, believed to be Salman Abedi, at the MEN Arena on Monday, and a vigil has been held for those who lost their lives in front of the town hall at Albert Square.

"What happened yesterday [Monday] evening in Manchester is something we all feel in Ajax and on behalf of all of us at Ajax we express our sympathies with the victims that fell," Bosz said in his press conference, reported by the Manchester Evening News.

"The feeling that prevails is the final does not have the glow it should have. It should be a football feast but because of the events in Manchester we are all affected, particularly as we are playing Manchester. It is horrible. My sympathies are heartfelt."

Peter Bosz
Bosz was understandably saddened by the sorry episode in Manchester. Reuters

Good evening and welcome to IB Times UK's live Europa League coverage of Ajax vs Manchester United.

United's season hinges on tonight's result. A win tonight would see Jose Mourinho's side qualify for the Champions League and lift a trophy they have never won before in their history.

Lose, and they will not be involved in Europe's premier club competition next season. Serious questions will be asked of Mourinho and co if Peter Bosz's side emerge victorious, and the Dutch giants have every chance of doing so. Ajax have substantial European pedigree and boast a number of young wonderkids including Kasper Dolberg and Dayvinson Sanchez.

It could well be a corker in Stockholm. Stay tuned for the latest team news, updates and reaction to all the goings on at the Friends Arena.

Ajax vs Manchester United