Manchester United Triumph in Stockholm

After a devastating week for everyone associated with the city of Manchester, Jose Mourinho’s men triumphed in Stockholm to offer some joy, in what been a very emotional week.

It was anything but a classic, the game will certainly not be remembered as being one of the greatest finals ever. However, Manchester United cruised to a 2-0 win over Ajax. The youthful Eredivisie side looked a shadow of themselves and may have been a bit overawed. On a pure footballing basis, it was such a shame that we did not see the true Ajax in this game. Misplaced passes, a lack positivity in possession and no real attacking threat, this performance was certainly not a reflection of how exciting they have been to watch this season.

Paul Pogba’s deflected strike opened the scoring in the 18th minute, an emotional time for the player himself after losing his father just two weeks earlier. Pogba’s 20 yard strike took a huge deflection off Davinson Sanchez, leaving Andre Onana helpless. Jose Mourinho set up Manchester United perfectly, it turned out to be a comfortable evening for United in the end. Many had thought Ajax would be a real threat to Manchester United’s hopes of gaining Champions League football next season, however, just three minutes into the second half Manchester United had doubled their lead. Henrikh Mkhitaryan hooked the ball past Onana after Chris Smalling’s knock down.

Ajax’s average was just over 22, but it was experience that prevailed in the end. This Ajax team will have learnt an awful lot from the final, it will be vital that the club hold on to their star players in the summer, the likes of Dolberg, Klaassen and Kluivert must all be kept. If the team is kept together, in a season or two’s time they will be the ones lifting a trophy.

Manchester United captain, Wayne Rooney was introduced in the 89th minute, in what could be his final appearance for the club. If it proves to be Rooney’s farewell, it is fitting that he leaves on a high. Jose Mourinho could finally smile, something we haven’t seen for much of the season. It is hard to say whether Mourinho’s first season at Old Trafford has been a success, while he has won trophies, the club have been way off the pace in the Premier League. Manchester United face a busy summer in the transfer window, with Champions League football back next season – The likes of Antione Griezmann will be more easily persuaded to join the club.

Many fans carried signs in tribute to the victims of Monday’s tragedy. Manchester showed its spirit, defiance and unity in a heartbreaking week.

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