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Manchester United win Europa League with Ajax victory and book Champions League spot

 

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Wayne Rooney of Manchester United lifts The Europa League trophy after the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

Wayne Rooney of Manchester United lifts The Europa League trophy after the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

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Jose Mourinho kisses the trophy following victory in the Europa League final.

Jose Mourinho kisses the trophy following victory in the Europa League final.

Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Manchester United fans put up a flag in memory of the victims of the Manchester Concert attack during the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Manchester United fans put up a flag in memory of the victims of the Manchester Concert attack during the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

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Manchester United's Henrikh Mkhitaryan celebrates scoring during the  Europa League soccer final match between Ajax and Manchester United at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, Wednesday May 24, 2017. (Anders Wiklund/TT via AP)

Manchester United's Henrikh Mkhitaryan celebrates scoring during the Europa League soccer final match between Ajax and Manchester United at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, Wednesday May 24, 2017. (Anders Wiklund/TT via AP)

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Manchester United's Henrikh Mkhitaryan, left, celebrates scoring with teammate Paul Pogba during the  Europa League soccer final match between Ajax and Manchester United at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, Wednesday May 24, 2017. (Anders Wiklund/TT via AP)

Manchester United's Henrikh Mkhitaryan, left, celebrates scoring with teammate Paul Pogba during the Europa League soccer final match between Ajax and Manchester United at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, Wednesday May 24, 2017. (Anders Wiklund/TT via AP)

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STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: Ander Herrera of Manchester United and Amin Younes of Ajax confront each other during the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: Ander Herrera of Manchester United and Amin Younes of Ajax confront each other during the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

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STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24:  General view inside the stadium as Players, fans, and officals take part in a minutes silence in memory of the victims of the Manchester Concert attack prior to the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: General view inside the stadium as Players, fans, and officals take part in a minutes silence in memory of the victims of the Manchester Concert attack prior to the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

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STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: Players, fans, and officals take part in a minutes silence in memory of the victims of the Manchester Concert attack prior to the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: Players, fans, and officals take part in a minutes silence in memory of the victims of the Manchester Concert attack prior to the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

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STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24:  The Ajax team take part in a minutes silence in memory of the victims of the Manchester Concert attack prior to the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: The Ajax team take part in a minutes silence in memory of the victims of the Manchester Concert attack prior to the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

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STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24:  The Manchester United team take part in a minutes silence in memory of the victims of the Manchester Concert attack prior to the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: The Manchester United team take part in a minutes silence in memory of the victims of the Manchester Concert attack prior to the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

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STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24:  Paul Pogba of Manchester United celebrates scoring his sides first goal with his Manchester United team mates during the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: Paul Pogba of Manchester United celebrates scoring his sides first goal with his Manchester United team mates during the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

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STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24:  Paul Pogba of Manchester United celebrates scoring his sides first goal with his Manchester United team mates during the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: Paul Pogba of Manchester United celebrates scoring his sides first goal with his Manchester United team mates during the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

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STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24:  Paul Pogba of Manchester United celebrates scoring his sides first goal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Manchester United and Matteo Darmian of Manchester United during the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: Paul Pogba of Manchester United celebrates scoring his sides first goal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Manchester United and Matteo Darmian of Manchester United during the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

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Manchester United fans in the stands during the UEFA Europa League Final at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 24, 2017. See PA story SOCCER Final. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission.

Manchester United fans in the stands during the UEFA Europa League Final at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 24, 2017. See PA story SOCCER Final. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission.

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STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24:  Andre Onana of Ajax picks the ball out of the net as Paul Pogba of Manchester United celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: Andre Onana of Ajax picks the ball out of the net as Paul Pogba of Manchester United celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

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STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24:  Paul Pogba of Manchester United celebrates scoring his sides first goal with his Manchester United team mates during the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: Paul Pogba of Manchester United celebrates scoring his sides first goal with his Manchester United team mates during the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

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Ajax fans in the stands during the UEFA Europa League Final at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 24, 2017. See PA story SOCCER Final. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission.

Ajax fans in the stands during the UEFA Europa League Final at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 24, 2017. See PA story SOCCER Final. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission.

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Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho during the UEFA Europa League Final at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 24, 2017. See PA story SOCCER Final. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho during the UEFA Europa League Final at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 24, 2017. See PA story SOCCER Final. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission.

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STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24:  A Manchester Unitedfan waits for the stadium gates to open ahead of the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: A Manchester Unitedfan waits for the stadium gates to open ahead of the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

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Manchester United fans arrive for the UEFA Europa League Final at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 24, 2017. See PA story SOCCER Final. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Manchester United fans arrive for the UEFA Europa League Final at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 24, 2017. See PA story SOCCER Final. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire

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Fans display banners prior to the UEFA Europa League final football match Ajax Amsterdam v Manchester United on May 24, 2017 at the Friends Arena in Solna outside Stockholm. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Fans display banners prior to the UEFA Europa League final football match Ajax Amsterdam v Manchester United on May 24, 2017 at the Friends Arena in Solna outside Stockholm. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

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Ajax fans cheer prior to the UEFA Europa League final football match Ajax Amsterdam v Manchester United on May 24, 2017 at the Friends Arena in Solna outside Stockholm. / AFP PHOTO / Odd ANDERSENODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images

Ajax fans cheer prior to the UEFA Europa League final football match Ajax Amsterdam v Manchester United on May 24, 2017 at the Friends Arena in Solna outside Stockholm. / AFP PHOTO / Odd ANDERSENODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images

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A Manchester United's supporter stands outside the stadium ahead the UEFA Europa League final football match Ajax Amsterdam v Manchester United on May 24, 2017 at the Friends Arena in Solna outside Stockholm. / AFP PHOTO / Jonathan NACKSTRANDJONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images

A Manchester United's supporter stands outside the stadium ahead the UEFA Europa League final football match Ajax Amsterdam v Manchester United on May 24, 2017 at the Friends Arena in Solna outside Stockholm. / AFP PHOTO / Jonathan NACKSTRANDJONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images

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STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: A Ajax and Manchester United fan pose for a photo outside the stadium prior to the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: A Ajax and Manchester United fan pose for a photo outside the stadium prior to the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

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STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24:  Ajax fans how their support during the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: Ajax fans how their support during the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

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STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24:  Manchester United fans show their support during the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: Manchester United fans show their support during the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

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STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24:  Manchester United fans show their support during the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: Manchester United fans show their support during the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

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United fans cheer prior to the UEFA Europa League final football match Ajax Amsterdam v Manchester United on May 24, 2017 at the Friends Arena in Solna outside Stockholm. / AFP PHOTO / Paul ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

United fans cheer prior to the UEFA Europa League final football match Ajax Amsterdam v Manchester United on May 24, 2017 at the Friends Arena in Solna outside Stockholm. / AFP PHOTO / Paul ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

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STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24:  A Manchester United fan holds up a sign prior to the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: A Manchester United fan holds up a sign prior to the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

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Ajax fans gather at Museum Square in central Amsterdam to watch the Europa League final football match between Ajax and Manchester United being played in Solna, Sweden, on May 24, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ANP / Niels Wenstedt / Netherlands OUTNIELS WENSTEDT/AFP/Getty Images

Ajax fans gather at Museum Square in central Amsterdam to watch the Europa League final football match between Ajax and Manchester United being played in Solna, Sweden, on May 24, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ANP / Niels Wenstedt / Netherlands OUTNIELS WENSTEDT/AFP/Getty Images

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Manchester United's injured Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic (3rd R) poses with Manchester United's suspended Ivorian defender Eric Bailly (R), Manchester United's injured English defender Luke Shaw (2nd L) and Manchester United's Argentinian defender Marcos Rojo (2nd R) prior to the UEFA Europa League final football match Ajax Amsterdam v Manchester United on May 24, 2017 at the Friends Arena in Solna outside Stockholm. / AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKIJANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Manchester United's injured Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic (3rd R) poses with Manchester United's suspended Ivorian defender Eric Bailly (R), Manchester United's injured English defender Luke Shaw (2nd L) and Manchester United's Argentinian defender Marcos Rojo (2nd R) prior to the UEFA Europa League final football match Ajax Amsterdam v Manchester United on May 24, 2017 at the Friends Arena in Solna outside Stockholm. / AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKIJANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images

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STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: Manchester United fans wave flags prior to the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: Manchester United fans wave flags prior to the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

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STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24:  Manchester United fans display a flag in memory of the victims of the Manchester Concert attack prior to the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: Manchester United fans display a flag in memory of the victims of the Manchester Concert attack prior to the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

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Wayne Rooney of Manchester United lifts The Europa League trophy after the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

Manchester United have won the Europa League with a 2-0 win over Ajax to secure Champions League qualification.

Mourinho's men stepped away from the brouhaha that normally surrounds the build-up and wore black armbands in Stockholm, where a minute's silence quickly turned into applause.

Stockholm knows all too well the impact of such an attack as just last month five people were killed by a hijacked truck in the city centre, meaning security around the game had already been beefed up.

Armed police patrolled the perimeter of a ground that witnessed United's 64th match of a draining campaign, with the Europa League taking them more than 15,000 miles.

There were surprisingly few signs of lethargy early on, though.

Pogba's volley wide after 24 seconds was a shot across the bows for an Ajax defence dragged all over by Marcus Rashford.

The Dutch giants were relieved to see Juan Mata's fizzing cross evade Marouane Fellaini before they flickered into life, with Sergio Romero, selected ahead of David De Gea, denying Bertrand Traore.

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Yet hope was soon dampened as within minutes Ajax's first major European final in 21 years became an uphill battle.

Neat play down the right ended with Pogba collecting the ball on the edge of the box. The Frenchman opened up his body and took a low 20-yard shot that deflected off Sanchez, wrong-footing goalkeeper Andre Onana and rippling the back of the net.

United's travelling hordes erupted as Pogba punched his chest, celebrating a goal that captain Antonio Valencia soon attempted to add to with a driving run and shot.

That was the last chance of note United would muster as Ajax began to settle, although dawdling Sanchez was fortunate not to be picked off by Rashford.

Daley Blind brought a timely end to a slaloming run by Traore as the Dutch side were afforded too much time in possession, but a lack of cutting edge meant they were unable to take advantage.

United re-grouped at the break and capitalised three minutes after the restart.

Chris Smalling rose to meet a corner from the right, heading on for Mkhitaryan to smartly lift into the roof of the net in front of United's raucous support.

Any building tension was released and Ajax struggled to respond to the second-half sucker punch, with Fellaini trying to compound matters with a header saved by Onana.

Tempers began to fray on the touchline after a late Mata challenge, while substitute Jesse Lingard was denied a late goal by Sanchez's recovery challenge.

Donny van de Beek was unable to truly test Romero as Ajax looked to claw back a consolation, but it was not to be for Amsterdam side.

Wayne Rooney came on for the dying embers and was handed the captain's armband by Valencia, celebrating wildly with his team-mates at the final whistle.


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