Connect with us

Manchester United

United through despite Ajax fightback

Manchester United survived a late scare to progress to the next round of the Europa League.

Despite losing 2-1 to Ajax at Old Trafford, United advance to the last 16 of competition after winning 3-2 on aggregate, but will be concerned with another disappointing performance in Europe.

Ryan Giggs was made to wait for his 900th appearance for the club as Ferguson chose Nani, Cleverley, Park and Young in midfield, with Berbatov partnering Hernandez up-front.

DeGea retained his spot in goal, with the Brazilian twins as fullbacks and Jones and Smalling in the middle of the back 4.

Going into the game on the back of the 2-0 advantage matured in Amsterdam a week ago, United started brightly, looking to for an early goal.

The goal came when, after six minutes, Javier Hernandez received a pass from Dimitar Berbatov before cutting inside and slotting the ball past Ajax’s keeper Kenneth Vermeer.

The goal could have killed Ajax, but de Boer’s men refused to let the game slip away from them, as they started to enjoy good spells of possession.

Both, Christian Eriksen and Siem de Jong fired wide before Vertonghen had to stretch to prevent Berbatov from pouncing on a pass by Hernandez.

Ajax kept going forward with good purpose and, after 37 minutes, found the break they were looking for.

The ball failed to Ozbiliz after United had failed to clear their lines and the Armenian’s effort flew into the bottom far corner.

Cleverley then tested Vermeer just before halftime but the teams went back to the dressing room on level terms.

Ajax started the second half with real intent and DeGea was forced to produce a fantastic save to deny De Jong, following a corner.

Ferguson introduced Scholes and Evans to replace Young and Cleverley, both largely ineffectual.

With Scholes and Phil Jones in midfield, United slowed the game down and looked threatening on the counter.


With 17 minutes to go, Nani cut inside after a great run, before unleashing an unstoppable drive that thumped off the crossbar.

Berbatov then made way for Welbeck, but United were to endure a tense finish.

Ozbiliz’s free kick found Aldeirwereld’s head as Ajax went in front three minutes from time.

United held on though, to book a last 16 clash with Athletic Bilbao.






Daniele (@MUFC_dan87)