Jose Mourinho picked up his second trophy of the season as his experienced Manchester United side proved too good for Ajax’s gifted youngsters.
Before the game, a minute’s silence was held for the victims of Monday night’s attack in Manchester, with applause breaking out at Solna’s Friends Arena.
Video: Manchester United and Ajax players remember Manchester Arena attack victims before Europa League final pic.twitter.com/CA1GGHLQNV
— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) May 24, 2017
United started brightly and eventually took the lead on 18 minutes, with Paul Pogba’s long-range shot deflected in off Davinson Sanchez.
— Ammad United 🤘😈 (@Ammadutd) May 24, 2017
Ajax, as expected, looked impressive with the ball but struggled to get behind a disciplined United backline, while for the Red Devils, Marcus Rashford was always a threat.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan had been disappointing in the first period, but on 48 minutes, the playmaker doubled his side’s advantage, producing an acrobatic flick from a Chris Smalling header.
For the rest of the second-half, United looked comfortable against an Ajax side outmuscled in midfield by Marouane Fellani and Pogba.
Jose Mourinho’s side now had Ajax exactly where they wanted them, although the Premier League side could’ve found themselves playing the last 15 minutes of the game with 10 men, after Juan Mata’s high tackle on Matthijs de Ligt.
The incident sparked a scuffle between the two sets of players, with Ander Herrera going down rather easily via an apparent headbutt.
Very embarrassing for Herrera pic.twitter.com/gzCyUbaKdT
— Sam (@SamEaton_EFC) May 24, 2017
Thankfully for the Red Devils, the Spaniard only picked up a booking for the challenge.
Late on, Wayne Rooney would get a run-out in what could be his last ever appearance for United.
Ultimately, United would cruise to victory, with their experience and discplined football too much for Ajax’s youthful flair.
Mourinho may have only steered his expensively-engineered squad to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League.
However, with League Cup and Europa League triumphs and a place in next season’s Champions League, his first season in the hot-seat at Old Trafford will go down as a more than acceptable opening campaign.
Although his son did almost kill him at the end!
— Red Related (@RedRelated) May 24, 2017
The win also means that the Red Devils have now won every trophy major trophy available.
Man Utd have closed the circle … pic.twitter.com/2KFrM670c1
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) May 24, 2017
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) May 24, 2017
Not bad going!