Latest Tips

Reims vs Clermont Monaco vs Strasbourg Lorient vs Rennes Bordeaux vs Brest Man City vs West Ham

It may not have been particularly pretty but Manchester United beat Ajax 2-0 to claim the Europa League title and secure Champions League football in the process on Wednesday night.

Goals from Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were enough for Jose Mourinho's men to overcome a spirited but, as it turned out, limited Dutch side.

The celebrations at full time were deserved. After the awful terror attack that had taken place in Manchester on Monday night, emotions were already running high. United made the city proud. The players did what they had to do.

Here's how we rated both sides at the Friends Arena.


André Onana – 7

Early nerves perhaps explained why he clattered into team-mate Jaïro Riedewald inside the opening 30 seconds but the goalkeeper soon settled into the game.

He had little chance in stopping the deflected Pogba shot that opened the scoring but made an important save to deny Antonio Valencia from adding a second in the 23rd minute.

Again was helpless for United's second goal but made a good stop to deny Marouane Fellaini's header and, in total, made three saves and collected one cross.

Jöel Veltman – 7

One of the more unheralded members of this Ajax side but the right-back was assured throughout the 90 minutes.

The 25-year-old was successful in each of his three tackles attempted, made two interception and one clearance.

Veltman also kept the ball well, completing 92 per cent of his passes.

Davinson Sánchez – 8.5

The Colombian is supposedly a Chelsea transfer target, Barcelona are also reportedly interested, and on the basis of his display in Stockholm it's easy to see why.

Still only 20 years old, Sánchez possesses all the qualities a modern centre-back needs. He was comfortable with the ball at his feet and played forward passes that broke through Manchester United's defensive block.

Was occasionally rash but still completed five out of five tackles he attempted, and still had enough in the tank in the final five minutes to make up three yards on Jesse Lingard and stop the United winger from adding a third.

Holding onto Sánchez may be on the biggest challenges facing Ajax this summer.

Matthijs de Ligt – 8

Incredible to think that the centre-back is just 17 years old. De Ligt displayed composure well beyond his years throughout the game.

He was constantly ready to receive the ball, even if under pressure, and calmly strode into midfield time and time again to create an angle for a pass. His distribution was a little sloppy but he did complete 91 per cent of his passes attempted.

Defensively he was almost faultless, with one crucial tackle just after the half hour mark to stop Marcus Rashford from breaking into the Ajax penalty his highlight.

Jaïro Riedewald – 5.5

Had made a solid start but one moment in big games can make the difference and it was the left-back's dreadful throw that gifted possession to United and eventually led to Pogba's goal.

Looked rattled for the remainder of the half and struggled against the blistering pace of United skipper Antonio Valencia.

Improved in the second period and completed three dribbles and 93 per cent of the passes he attempted, but his error and United's subsequent opener made it a difficult night for Ajax.

Hakim Ziyech – 5.5

One of Ajax's midfield creators but the Moroccan struggled to impose on the contest.

He completed just 70 per cent of the passes he attempted and was dispossessed five times during the game. He also managed one shot on target from the five he attempted.

Davy Klaassen – 6.5

Has had an excellent season for Ajax but couldn't help the Dutch side unlock the Manchester United defence.

Klaassen completed 33 of the 39 passes he attempted during the game and attempted seven tackles, four of which were successful.

But the midfielder, who has scored 20 times this season, didn't get forward to support his strikers and failed to muster a single shot on goal.

Davy Klaassen, Ajax

Lasse Schöne – 6

The elder statesman in the Ajax midfield, 30-year-old Schöne's main role in the side was to help keep possession ticking over and enable the likes of Klaassen to build attacks.

He did that to good effect, completed 86 per cent of his passes, and also won four tackles when Manchester United attempted to break.

But with Ajax dominating possession, Schöne's lack of creativity was exposed and he was withdrawn with 22 minutes remaining as the Dutch side searched for a way back into the game.

Amin Younes – 6.5

The Ajax winger was always willing to be given the ball but he couldn't make any inroads against Valencia.

Going into the game Younes had completed 73 take-ons in the Europa League, at least 36 more than anyone else in the competition.

But while Younes' passing was accurate, like most of his team-mates, completing 91 per cent of his passes attempted, he struggled to make an impact and he was unable to unlock the well drilled United backline.

Bertrand Traoré – 7

The Chelsea loanee had the first sight of goal of the evening after drifting inside off the right flank and forcing Sergio Romero into a routine stop.

He was the most liveliest of the Ajax attackers in the first half, completing five successive dribbles and winning the only aerial duel he attempted.

He was moved into the main striker's role after the hour mark and his influence on the contest faded as he was constantly surrounded by the Manchester United defenders.

Traoré ended with a game-high 11 dribbles attempted and four shots on goal. No other Ajax players threatened as much as the Burkina Faso international.

Kasper Dolberg – 5

The Danish striker was billed as the biggest Ajax threat ahead of the game but he was entirely ineffective during the opening 45 minutes of the contest.

Ajax dominated possession in the first half but Dolberg managed just ten touches and only played eight passes, of which five were successful.

Dolberg's start to the second period wasn't much better as he was outmuscled by Chris Smalling from a corner and the England defender's knock down was turned in by Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The 19-year-old was brought off in the 61st minute and failed to register a single shot during his hour on the pitch.


Neres for Dolberg (61): 6

Van der Beek for Schöne (68): 6

De Jong for Riedewald (81): N/A

Manchester United

Sergio Romero – 7

Jose Mourinho kept faith with the Argentina international and it proved to be the right decision as the 30-year-old produced a faultless display.

Admittedly Romero didn't have much to do but, when called upon, he didn't let United down. He made two saves, collected one cross and ran down the clock well with United leading.

In his 18 appearances this season Romero has kept 12 clean sheets. If David de Gea moves on to Real Madrid this summer, then the 30-year-old should be given a chance to stake his claim as United's No.1 keeper.

Sergio Romero season stats 2016/17

Antonio Valencia – 7.5

It was back in January that Mourinho eulogised about Valencia's transformation from flying winger to reliable right-back. The Portuguese said: “He is simply the best right-back you can have, there is no better right-back in football.”

While that may have been hyperbole from the Manchester United boss there is not denying the Ecuadorian has blossomed into an excellent full-back. Powerful when he goes forward yet reliable when faced up by an opposition winger.

Valencia made two tackles, two interceptions and one clearance. He also completed the only take on he attempted.

Chris Smalling – 7.5

Was given the nod ahead of fellow England international Phil Jones and Smalling ensured Mourinho's decision to pick him was vindicated.

Against Ajax, Smalling won five aerial battles, made one tackle and an impressive eight clearances. He also claimed the assist for United's season goal of the contest. and caused problems at set-pieces.

Daley Blind – 7.5

Schooled in the Ajax academy and a boyhood supporter of the Dutch side, Blind said prior to the game that he'd be putting allegiances to on side at the Friends Arena. He was true to his word.

Blind is not a natural centre-back but is good enough to play there and looked assured and composed.

He was successful in every tackle he attempted, made three clearances and interceptions.

It was reported earlier in the season that Blind could be moved on this summer. Given his versatility, it would be strange if the Netherlands international departs.

Matteo Darmian – 7

The Italian has become Mourinho's go to left back in the bigger games. Darmian isn't particularly flashy but he rarely makes a mistake.

He struggled to contain Traoré in the opening half, the Chelsea loanee skipping past him on two occasions, but got to grips with the forward in the second period.

Over the course of the game, Darmian completed 80 per cent of his passes, won three of five tackles attempted, made seven clearances and four interceptions.

Ander Herrera – 8.5

It was a game that perfectly suited Herrera's talents. The Spaniard sat at the base of the United midfield three and did the dirty work.

He tracked runners, broke up attacks and then, when Mourinho's side had possession, kept it simple. The 27-year-old won seven tackles, one clearance and four interceptions.

Herrera, over the course of this season, has turned into Mourinho's on-field general. He is a player that can be relied upon and he demonstrated that once again.

Marouane Fellaini – 8

Certainly isn't the most popular member of the Manchester United squad but the Belgian is certainly trusted by Mourinho.

His physical presence was utilised well by United throughout the contest and the former Everton player also provided the pass which led to Pogba's opening goal.

The 29-year-old may never truly win over the Manchester United faithful but he was solid in Stockholm, winning 15 of his aerial duels, making five tackles and recovering possession six times.

Paul Pogba – 8

On the big stage the Frenchman delivered. He scored the crucial opening goal, albeit thanks to a deflection, and patrolled the midfield, especially in the first half, expertly.

United spent £89.3million on Pogba to make the difference when it mattered most. They got their money's worth tonight. The 24-year-old, in addition to his goal, played one key pass, two successful tackles, two clearances and one interception.

Juan Mata – 7

What a turnaround it's been for Mata. When Mourinho took over last summer it was expected, as he had done at Chelsea, that the Spaniard would be moved on by the Portuguese.

Fast forward ten months and the Spaniard was starting United's biggest game of the season. And he did exactly what was asked of him.

Mata put his creative talents to one side to do a job for the team. His defensive work has been much improved this season and in Stockholm he made two interceptions and one tackle.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 7

The Armenian international didn't have his most effective game in a Manchester United shirt but his excellently-taken goal minutes after half time killed off Ajax.

Mkhitaryan reacted quickest to Smalling's knock down and flicked the ball over his shoulder and into the net.

It was his only real contribution with the ball as the former Borussia Dortmund star only completed just 16 passes and didn't succeed in a single take on he attempted.

But he made the difference when it mattered most.

Marcus Rashford – 7

The 19-year-old played a big part in getting United to the final but it wasn't an easy night for Rashford.

He did what was asked of him, closing down defenders and running the channels, but the England international was well marshalled when he did have the ball.


Lingard for Mkhitaryan (71): 6

Martial for Rashford (83): N/A

Rooney for Mata (89): N/A

Click here to like us on Facebook 

Europa League


Premier League