Ratings: Pogba and Mkhitaryan win it for United, Fellaini played a part

Manchester United beat Ajax 2-0 and lifted the UEFA Europa League at the Friends Arena in Stockholm on Wednesday evening, earning a place in the UEFA Champions League next season. Paul Pogba took the lead for United with a decent shot, which was deflected and beat the keeper. It doesn’t matter how the goal was scored, the fact it was a goal was enough. Ajax had a lot of the ball throughout the match, not doing enough with it. United were in control of the game, even without Michael Carrick on the pitch. Many had suggested that the Dutch side were going to teach United a lesson this evening – I am not sure what that was.

United went into the break 1-0 up and from the start of the second half, they created chances and doubled down through Henrikh Mkhitaryan after Chris Smalling nodded the ball to him inside the six-yard box. That was enough for United, with much of the second half left to play, they had their name on the trophy. Jesse Lingard was United’s first substitute, replacing Mkhitaryan in the 74th minute of the match. Ten minutes later, Anthony Martial replaced Marcus Rashford and in the last minute of the match, the captain Wayne Rooney replaced Juan Mata with Antonio Valencia, the captain for the evening, giving Rooney the armband for the remainder of the match.

Manchester United have completed their major trophy haul, now winning every trophy they could win, which will annoy their rivals as yet again, United lead the way in terms of success, something which many seem to value when it is there for the short-term, with United looking to establish long-term success once again. Under the guidance of Jose Mourinho, that is where United could be after he managed to guide them to three trophies this season; the FA Community Shield, the EFL Cup and the UEFA Europa League.

Goals: Paul Pogba 18′, Henrikh Mkhitaryan 48′

Assists: Marouane Fellaini 18′, Chris Smalling 48′

Manchester United: Romero; Valencia, Smalling, Blind, Darmian; Herrera, Fellaini; Mata (Rooney 90′), Pogba, Mkhitaryan (Lingard 74′); Rashford (Martial 84′)

Substitutes Not Used: De Gea; Jones, Fosu-Mensah; Carrick

Bookings: Henrikh Mkhitaryan 31′, Marouane Fellaini 52′, Juan Mata 78′

Manchester United

22 Sergio Romero

Put in a decent performance, paying back the manager for the faith shown in him in this competition this season. Saved a Bertrand Traore effort, which was the only threat throughout the match.


25 Antonio Valencia

The Ecuadorian played efficiently on the right flank, which makes United much better when he's playing. Put in a good effort in the first half on goal, forcing Onana to make a tough save, which much have hurt the speed he welted the ball.


Chris Smalling

The England defender put in a good performance in what could be a transitional summer for him, seemingly playing his last competitive match for the club, if the papers are to be believed. There seemed to be a lack of communication which annoyed Pogba, but ended with United getting what they and Manchester wanted.


17 Daley Blind

Played a good game against his former club. Defended well and never took his eye off the game, which may suggest his future could lie at the Old Trafford club. Stood up to Pogba for his teammate and defensive partner, Smalling.


Matteo Darmian

The Italian played a great part in defence for United, despite early criticism from the manager. Mourinho did not have to give him orders again, showing his ability under pressure, not that Ajax caused all that much.


21 Ander Herrera

The Spanish midfielder had a good game, doing what he needed to do, but not for the plaudits. He sparked the attack at the start of the second half, with United doubling their lead through Mkhitaryan. Future captain for the club? Big changes could be coming.


27 Marouane Fellaini

Despite not being a fans favourite, Fellaini did what he needed to do against Ajax. His height was an advantage, as was Smalling's. The Belgian was better on the ground, playing a part in Pogba's opening goal and nearly getting one himself with a header.


8 Juan Mata

It was not the best performance for Mata this evening, but he played his part and did not make mistakes, which is all you can ask for. His footballing intelligence was a good thing for the game, but as far as offering much, the likes of Mkhitaryan, Pogba and Rashford offered much more.


6 Paul Pogba

This performance from the Frenchman will have shown up his critics, who have been on his case all season. If they are still crowing about how much of a let down he has been, football is not a game they understand. Pogba has had a tough few weeks, which will be somewhat satisfied by the victory in Sweden this evening. Next season will be Paul Pogba's season, he'll silence even more ABU's.


22 Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Played a good game, but struggled at times in the wide areas. Scored his eleventh goal of the season, the winner if you will, not that Ajax responded at all during the game. Not the best of seasons for the Armenian, but he's solidified his foundations at the club, on to the next one.


10 Marcus Rashford

The Mancunian striker was careless in possession at times, but threatened his opposition, which helped when creating other chances. He may not have scord this evening, but he played his part in his first European final, which hopefully more to come.



14 Jesse Lingard

Replaced Mkhitaryan. Had the chance of a one-on-one with the keeper, but ran out of energy on the run.


9 Anthony Martial

Replaced Rashford. The Frenchman had little of the ball, but to be fair to him, the job was done before he entered the pitch.


Ratings: Pogba and Mkhitaryan win it for United, Fellaini played a part

Replaced Mata. Came on in the last minute of the match, taking the captain's armband. Did not really get involved in the match much, but seemed to get a good end to the season, which could well be his last at United.


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