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Ajax vs Manchester United a few quick goals and thoughts

  • After the events in Manchester on Monday the win for Jose Mourinho’s side pails into insignificance in all fairness
  • Victory will go a small way to help the grieving process but it is fair to say the game was largely overshadowed
  • In the grand scheme of things a game even with the stature of the Europa League Final is largely irrelevant
  • A minutes silence then burst into a minutes applause from the Manchester United fans
  • And rightfully so, a rapturous mark of respect for the 10,000 or so United fans that had made the journey to Stockholm
  • Ultimately though there was still a trophy to be won and a place in the Champions League next season up for grabs
  • Looking at the line ups it was men versus boys before the game and it showed out on the pitch as Mourinho’s men brushed Bosz’s boys
  • United had all the early pressure as Ajax could not get a foothold in the game it was not a case of if United would score the first but when
  • And they would be rewarded for their early pressure within the first 20 minutes
  • An awful throw from Jairo Riedewald put his Ajax teammates needlessly under pressure on the edge of the area
  • The ball eventually found its way to Paul Pogba who was afforded too much time and space by Davy Klaassen
  • Pogba then got a shot away which took a huge deflection off of Davinson Sanchez
  • With the ball spinning towards goal, Andre Onana was left wrong footed and United would find themselves ahead
  • It may have been a scrappy goal but I doubt Pogba will have cared all that much
  • It was not a moment of brilliance that is expected from a player that costs £89m but it was some justification for his performances this season
  • If Ajax were struggling at 0-0 then they really up against in terms of trying to get back into the game
  • On loan Chelsea forward Betrand Traore was a nuisance in the final third but Sergio Romero was never really troubled
  • Ajax would have been grateful to go into the break with a deficit of just the one goal
  • But that deficit would become two soon after the restart as the final was all but wrapped up
  • It was another of Mourinho’s big signings last summer who got on the score sheet as Henrikh Mkhitaryan doubled United’s advantage
  • The Armenian international flicked the ball home from close range after Chris Smalling’s initial header in the area
  • Ajax two down and suffering from stage fright
  • Whether it was the experience of Mourinho and how to squeeze out a performance in the final or whether it was Ajax not turning up can be argued but in fairness you would have to say it was more of the latter
  • With still 40 minutes left to play the remainder of the game turned into something of a procession
  • United easily saw out the game as what little fight Ajax possessed had now disappeared
  • There was to be no dramatic comeback as United wrap up the season with a return to the Champions League
  • This game was always going to define whether or not they truly did have a successful season
  • And you would have to say that the silverware that they have amassed along with a return to Europe’s premier club competition means that a 6th place Premier League finish is almost forgotten
  • With the additional carrot of Champions League football to offer prospective signings then landing those targets becomes that little bit easier
  • There will definitely be another round of big expenditure in the transfer window but one thing is for certain a 6th place finish next time around will not be allowed
  • United will have to bridge the gap over the Summer after finishing so far off the pace
  • By the time next season starts then it will truly be Mourinho’s squad and there can be no more excuses
  • The stark reality is that this game was not a great spectacle but what with the circumstances surrounding the fixture it is understandable
  • Last night was a win not just for United but for Manchester as a whole
  • Here is all you need to know from last night

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