Ajax 0-2 Manchester United – Player Ratings

Ajax 0-2 Manchester United – Player Ratings
May 25, 2017

Featured Manchester United

José Mourinho re-announced himself on the European stage last night as his Manchester United side swept aside a youthful Ajax side to win the UEFA Europa League.

£89 million pound man Paul Pogba put José’s men into the lead 18 minutes in and Henrik Mkhitaryan added a second goal 3 minutes into the second half to seal a trophy and guarantee a place in the UEFA Champions League group stage next season.

Let’s look at how both teams performed in Stockholm on Wednesday night.

Ajax (4-3-3)

Andre Onana – 6

Almost caused a goal early on in the game. Could not do anything to prevent both goals, let down by poor defending.

Joel Veltman- 5

Never seemed threatened by Mkhitaryan on the flank. Had plenty of time on the ball at right back. Booked for a silly tackle on Mata.

Davinson Sánchez – 8

His deflection caused the first goal. Grew into the game, bravely stepped into midfield when his teammates could not find space to make runs. He and De Ligt bullied Rashford out of the game. I can see why Europe’s top clubs are after him, awesome defender.

Matthijs De Ligt – 7

Being the youngest player ever to play in a European cup final is not a joke. Immense performance from the young lad, brave on the ball and was not afraid to get physical with Rashford.

Jairo Riedewald – 5

Had a quiet game down the left flank. Went about his work solidly. Poor throw-in caused the first goal. Subbed off in the 82nd minute.

Lasse Schöne – 4

Was missing for large parts of the game, offered no threats going forward and could not protect his defence. Rightly subbed off in the 70th minute.

Davy Klaassen – 5

The captain failed to inspire his team with a flat performance in midfield. Could not penetrate United’s defence with his passing, ended up moving the ball side to side.

Hakim Ziyech – 6

Not his usual lively self. Failed to make an impact in the final third; was not able to link up with the attack to bring them in the game.

Bertrand Traoré – 8

Lively in small flashes. Ajax’s most potent threat throughout the game. Could not find any joy up against Darmian.

Kasper Dolberg – 4

The young striker did not have a sniff at goal, was bullied out of the game by Smalling and Blind. Did not help that his midfielders could not find him. Subbed off after 60 minutes.

Amin Younes – 7

Was his usual lively self, threatened with his dribbling and direct running but ended up in cul-de-sacs more often than not. Glided past his opponents, but could not find space in behind Valencia.

Substitutes

Neres (Dolberg 62)- 6; De Jong (Riedewald 82)- 5; De Beek (Schone 70)- 6

Manchester United (4-2-3-1)

Sergio Romero – 7

Another impressive clean sheet for the backup keeper. Staking his claim to be United’s number one if De Gea leaves during the summer.

Antonio Valencia – 7

Did not leave the winger any space to operate. Never put a foot wrong all game. Lead by example with a solid performance.

Chris Smalling – 7

Untroubled by the presence of Dolberg, marshalled his defence brilliantly. Won the header for the second goal. Delivered a no-nonsense performance.

Daley Blind – 7

Cool, calm and collected on the ball. Timed his tackles and interceptions, did not allow Ajax’s attack any space in the center. Was a useful out ball when needed.

Matteo Darmian – 9

Held his own vs Traore and Neres later in the game. Very good performance from the left back.

Ander Herrera – 8

Mourinho’s midfield general patrolled the space in front of the back four. Prevented any through balls from reaching Ajax’s attackers between the lines. Recycled possession efficiently.

Marouane Fellaini – 7.5

Very effective playing as an auxiliary centre-forward. Won many headers and kept United’s attack ticking. Was his usual physical self in midfield. Repaid Mourinho’s trust in him with a resolute performance.

Paul Pogba – 8

Controlled the game, dominated the Ajax midfield and was a threat with his attacking runs. Showed fantastic work rate. His range of passing often eased the pressure off of the team. This is the type of performance United fans have been crying out for this season; capped it off with a goal.

Juan Mata – 6.5

Helped United carry the ball forward, used his experience and intelligence to outwit the Ajax midfield. Was not shy to put in a shift against Younes and Reidewald. Booked for an unnecessary challenge in the second half.

Henrik Mkhitaryan – 7

Had a lively game on the flanks, pace was useful on the counter. Made sure Darmian was never one on one with Traore. Instinctive finish to put United 2-0 up. Subbed off in after 74 minutes.

Marcus Rashford- 6.5

Chased down every long ball and harried the defenders off the ball. Held his own against Sanchez. A tireless performance from the young lad.

Substitutes

Lingard (Mkhitaryan 74) – 5; Martial (Rashford 84)- 5; Rooney (Mata 90)- 5

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