Final, 2-0 Manchester United: The referee blows the final whistle. Manchester United wins the 2017 Europa League.
The Red Devils have made Manchester smile again with the victory. Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan provided the goals, in a game that lacked excitement and quality … perhaps by Mourinho’s design. We expected much more from Ajax’s highly-touted and youthful attack, but Manchester United stifled and contained the Dutch side throughout.
Despite finishing sixth in the Premier League standings, Manchester United earned a place in next season’s Champions League and completed its European trophy set.
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90th minute, 2-0 Manchester United: There will be a minimum of four minutes of added time in the second half.
89th minute, 2-0 Manchester United: Manchester United makes its final substitution, with Wayne Rooney replacing Juan Mata.
This is expected to be Rooney’s final appearance for Manchester United.
87th minute, 2-0 Manchester United: Jesse Lingard breaks free toward goal, but Davinson Sanchez tracks him down and shoulders him off the ball inside Ajax’s penalty area.
86th minute, 2-0 Manchester United: Ajax hasn’t done enough with its possession.
84th minute, 2-0 Manchester United: Anthony Martial replaces Marcus Rashford, as Manchester United makes its second substitution.
82nd minute, 2-0 Manchester United: Ajax makes its final substitution, with Jairo Riedewald exiting and Frenkie de Jong entering.
80th minute, 2-0 Manchester United: Ajax is dominating possession but can’t break through Manchester United’s defense, as is the case in Donny Van de Beek’s blocked shot.
78th minute, 2-0 Manchester United: The referee shows Jairo Riedewald a yellow card.
77th minute, 2-0 Manchester United: The referee shows Juan Mata a yellow card for a malicious tackle on Matthijs de Ligt.
74th minute, 2-0 Manchester United: Jesse Lingard replaces Henrikh Mkhitaryan in Manchester United’s first substitution.
70th minute, 2-0 Manchester United: Donny Van de Beek enters, and Lasse Schone exits in Ajax’s second substitution.
65th minute, 2-0 Manchester United: Marouane Fellaini has a golden scoring opportunity but he heads his shot straight at Andre Onana from close range.
64th minute, 2-0 Manchester United: Ajax’s Amin Younes is shown a yellow card for tugging Antonio Valencia’s jersey.
62nd minute, 2-0 Manchester United: Kasper Dolberg exits and David Neres enters, as Ajax makes its first substitution.
Kasper Dolberg was cited as Ajax’s danger man before the game but his Europa League final was a dud.
58th minute, 2-0 Manchester United: The referee shows Joel Veltman a yellow card for a foul on Juan Mata.
52nd minute, 2-0 Manchester United: The referee shows Fellaini a yellow card for sliding through Lasse Schone.
48th minute, 2-0 Manchester United: Henrikh Mkhitaryan doubles Manchester United’s lead just minutes after the restart.
The goal from a corner kick, as the Armenian pounced on Chris Smalling’s knock-down and spectacularly flicked it past Andre Onana.
Mkhitaryan is thriving in the Europa League.
46th minute, 1-0 Manchester United: The second half of the Europa League final is under way.
Halftime, 1-0 Manchester United: That’s the end of the first half. The Red Devils lead by a goal.
Paul Pogba’s 18th-minute deflected goal represents the difference in scoreline in this tightly contested Europa League final. Manchester United enjoyed the better start, but Ajax seized and held the initiative for much of the ensuing half hour. A neutral fan’s delight this was not.
Manchester United can preserve its lead by maintaining its level of focus and improving its possession play in the second half. Ajax will need Kasper Dolberg and his fellow attackers to conjure up something special in order to breach the Red Devils’ resolute defense.
42nd minute, 1-0 Manchester United: Despite trailing, Ajax seems to be ending the half stronger than Manchester United. Peter Bosz’s team is dominating possession and finding openings in Manchester United’s midfield to exploit.
36th minute, 1-0 Manchester United: Bertrand Traore bolts into Manchester United’s penalty area on the dribble, but Daley Blind blocks and clears his shot before it can reach Sergio Romero.
36th minute, 1-0 Manchester United: Ajax is showing more impetus and increasing the tempo in its passing, but Manchester United has comfortably absorbed the Dutch side’s surge.
31st minute, 1-0 Manchester United: The referee shows Henrikh Mkhitaryan a yellow card after the Manchester United midfielder unfairly blocks Joel Veltman.
24th minute, 1-0 Manchester United: Antonio Valencia charges up Manchester United’s right side and shoots powerfully on goal, but Andre Onana bats his shot away.
20th minute, 1-0 Manchester United: Ajax needs more form star forward Kasper Dolberg if it is to recover from Paul Pogba’s goal.
18th minute, 1-0 Manchester United: Paul Pogba scores a deflected goal, and the Red Devils lead.
The Manchester United midfielder shot from the edge of the Ajax penalty area. Defender Davinson Sanchez deflected Pogba’s shot, and goalkeeper Andre Onana had little chance to stop it.
Pogba might have returned to peak form at the right time.
15th minute, 0-0: Bertrand Traore shoots from a tight angle, but Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero is well-positioned at the near post and saves the Ajax forward’s effort.
13th minute, 0-0: Ajax has struggled in possession early on, but Manchester United hasn’t punished the Dutch side’s sloppiness with its direct approach.
10th minute, 0-0: Juan Mata nearly finds Marouane Fellaini with a powerful cross inside the Ajax goal mouth, but the big Belgian can’t connect with his teammate’s delivery.
Third minute, 0-0: Marcus Rashford takes another early shot for Manchester United, but Matthijs de Ligt blocks it.
First minute, 0-0: Manchester United’s Paul Pogba half-volleys a shot wide in an early attempt at the Ajax goal.
Kickoff: The minute of silence was observed impeccably, and the 2017 Europa League final is under way.
Pregame: The Europa League final is expected to be a contrast in styles — Ajax playing an expansive and inventive game, with Manchester United opting for a conservative and pragmatic approach — and also a contest between youth and experience.
Win or lose, Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt already has set a record in this game.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has surprised many with his center-back pairing. With Eric Bailly suspended, Daley Blind, an Ajax academy product, will partner with Chris Smalling. Phil Jones must settle for a place on the bench.
2:15 p.m.: Here are the lineups and expected formations:
2 p.m. ET: Manchester United and Ajax are gunning for modern-day European glory.
The storied clubs will meet Tuesday at Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, in the 2017 UEFA Europa League final. The winner will earn the prestigious trophy and, more importantly, a spot in next season’s UEFA Champions League group stage.
The Europa League final comes two days after the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena in which a suicide bomber killed 22 and hospitalized at least 59 following an Ariana Grande concert. Manchester United will wear black armbands, and the teams will observe one minute’s silence prior to kickoff.
Afterward, Manchester United will pursue its twin missions: to make Manchester smile again, as it heals from the concert bombing, and to win the only major European trophy it has never claimed
Join us right here for all the action from Friends Arena.
Thumbnail photo via YouTube/NBC Sports