Manchester United turned into the first EPL side to qualify for the UEFA Champions League from the Europa League as they crushed Ajax 2-0 at the Friends Arena in Stockholm.
It was a huge relief at last, and again a blissful joy and an outbreak of emotions from Jose Mourinho that emphasised exactly what it means to him and Manchester United to win the Europa League, and the Red Devils turned out to a solid start as they shocked the Dutch side.
Marcus Rashford was effectively closed down by Sanchez, as Pogba started to discover space as he searched for that enchanted minute to prove himself decisive for the team.
Be that as it may be, it was the Dutch side who forced Manchester Utd goalkeeper Romero vigorously to start with, with Traore hoping to pop the ball inside the near post. Ajax were exceptionally unfortunate to go behind in the 17th minutes when Pogba received a pass from outside the 18-yard box. The Frenchman’s low shot took a fiendish diversion off Sanchez to wrong-foot Onana, only for the ball to be found at the back of the net.
Ajax’s energetic side looked shocked with the goal, and their captain Valencia hoped to take advantage with a blasting run on the right side finishing with a strike which was saved by Onana.
Manchester Utd figured out how to shake off the pressure, and they put the game out of reach for the Dutch side after a dominant start to the second half.
A corner kick was crossed into Ajax box and Smalling nodded the ball down into the six-yard box. former BVB winger Mkhitaryan was there to swivel and acrobatically smashed the ball home to give the Red Devil a relieving two-goal lead.
Manchester Utd quiet down the game subsequent to Mkhitaryan wonderful goal, with Ajax, left reaching for an equaliser to get back into the game.
Ajax were too slow and uninspiring with their play, and it was very simple for the Red Devil to close them down, Ziyech created some danger as he blasted his effort over the cross- bar, United looked more dangerous on the break with chances from Fellaini.
Mourinho’s led side did not need a third goal as Ibrahimovic joined his colleagues in the dugout in wait of a wild jubilation, Neres had one last opportunity to give his side a consolation goal when he got in behind United defence and heaved the ball over Romero, but the ball was cleared and the ref blasted the final whistle.
“We know things like this are very sad all over the world,” said Pogba referring to the attack. “We had to focus. Manchester – we won for them. We played for England, we played for Manchester and we played for them — the people who died.”
“The goal was to win all the way through this season. We’ve done it, and we’re proud,” said Pogba. “People say we’ve had a bad season but the prize is great and we’ve done it now. We have three trophies so enjoy it now,” he added.
United’s triumph followed success in the League Cup and the Community Shield in Jose Mourinho’s first season in charge at Old Trafford with Champions League football secured after United could only manage a sixth-place finish in the Premier League.
“We preferred to reach the Champions League this way than finishing fourth, third or second,” said Mourinho. “We got the objective, we are back in the Champions League by winning a title, an important title. The club now has every title in world football. We fought hard for this since the beginning.”
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