The goals are different, one Cup: Manchester United and Ajax will meet in the final of the Europa League

© AFP 2017 / Valery Naslovot Cup and UEFA Europa League. Archival photoThe goals are different, one Cup: Manchester United and Ajax will meet in the final of the Europa League© 2017 AFP / Valery Hache

The Europa League final will take place Wednesday in Stockholm, to English «Manchester United» it will be the last chance to win a trip to the Champions League and for the Dutch «Ajax» – an opportunity many years later to re-write your glorious name in the history of European football.

The final game of the Europa League between «Ajax» and «Manchester United» will be held in Stockholm on 24 may, kick — off 21:45 GMT.

Way to the top

Both clubs on the way to the decisive match for the title passed a very, very difficult European path. «Manchester United» started from the group stage of the Europa League, which was second after the Turkish «Fenerbahce». Having reached the knockout stage of the tournament, the team Jose Mourinho has confidently beaten out from draw of the French «Saint-Etienne», but then got on the team that can safely be called one of the main discoveries of the season «Rostov». And from that moment on wins with a difference of more than one ball, the British forgot.

Not without difficulty, beating the Rostov (1:1 in the first match away 1-0 in the second leg at home), Manchester United came out on the Belgian «Anderlecht» that could only in extra time, completing 90 minutes in both matches with the score 1:1. Then on the way the British stood the Spanish «Celta» and again not the most confident with 1:0 away and 1-1 at home.

Ajax, in turn, started the competition in the third qualifying round of the Champions League. After the Greek PAOK, the Dutch were ‘lucky’ to reach the same «Rostov», but to cope with the Rostov club of Amsterdam failed after a tie on the home field (1:1) Ajax lost (4:1).

In the end, getting into the Europa League, first place in the group (14 points out of 18 possible), and the subsequent victory in the playoffs over the Polish Legia (0:0 first match, 1:0 — response), the Danish «Copenhagen» (1:2, 2:0), the German «Schalke» (2:0, 2:3) and the French «Lyon» (4:1, 1:3).

It should be noted that «Manchester United», the collection of which is victory in the Champions League and the now defunct Cup winners ‘ Cup, have never won the Europa League (including its predecessor the UEFA Cup). Victory in Stockholm will allow him to become the fifth club to have won three major European Cup, after Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Turin «Juventus» and «Ajax».

At Ajax the European Cup final will be the first since 1996, when the Dutch in the decisive Champions League game lost to Juventus, the word, finalist of this season’s competition. All in all, the Dutch club, 14 times played in the finals of the European Cup, scoring ten victories.

For «United,» the upcoming finale will not only be a chance to take the title, but to win a place in the Champions League: in the national championship, the club were only sixth. Between Manchester United and Ajax have met four times, however this statistic is unlikely to do any conclusions: opponents scored two victories.

There are people that actually unite these two clubs. It is, for example, about Zlatan Ibrahimovic. With Ajax he will not play, but in the early 2000s, the Dutch club, the Swede was twice national champion and won the Dutch Cup. But on the field can leave a defender Manchester United Daley blind – graduate of the Academy of the Amsterdam club, whose father once also played for Ajax. Or Edwin van der SAR, General Director of «Ajax», about six years played for «Manchester» and has won in his 11 trophies including four Champions of England and win the Champions League.

«Would prefer to meet with Manchester United in the semi-finals, but this did not happen, and we go against each other in Stockholm. It’s fantastic. But fiction only if we win the Cup,» said van der SAR.

The final tribulation

The anticipation of the upcoming match was overshadowed by the dreadful events that happened in Manchester earlier in the week. On Monday evening in concert hall «Manchester arena», where took place the concert of American singer Ariana Grande explosion. Prime Minister Theresa may announced that an explosive device detonated a suicide bomber, he was alone, terrorists activated an explosive device near one of the exits from the stadium. According to police, 22 people were killed and 59 were injured. Eight more reported missing.

After the incident, UEFA has allowed «the MU» not to hold a pre-match press conference, and at the Tuesday training the players of the English club honored the memory of victims minute of silence, which will begin the ending.

«We are all very saddened by the tragic events of last night — said Mourinho. — We can’t get it out of our minds and hearts to victims and their families. We have work to do — we have to go to Sweden to do it. Sorry, we can’t go into a state of happiness, which are always before the big game. In the short time that I’m here, I already know that the people of Manchester unite together as one.»

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