Final stakes raised as United and Ajax suffer blows

The UEFA Europa League final has become more important than ever for Ajax and Manchester United after both teams missed out on domestic targets on Sunday.

©AFP/Getty Images

Willem II 1-3 Ajax (Schuurman 82; Dolberg 38, Sanchez 48, Klaassen 66)

Line-up: Onana; Tete, Sanchez, De Ligt (Westermann 71), Riedewald; Klaassen, Van de Beek (Nouri 52), De Jong; Neres, Dolberg (Traoré 45), Kluivert.

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first): WLWWLL

  • The Eredivisie season ended in disappointment for Ajax, but there was hope amid the despondency for Peter Bosz's side. Ajax needed leaders Feyenoord to slip up on the final day, yet there was to be no last-gasp drama as the Rotterdam side comfortably dispatched Heracles 3-1 to maintain their one-point lead – and claim their first Dutch crown since 1999. Their closest pursuers pushed them all the way, however, despite fielding the youngest starting XI in Eredivisie history, with 24-year-old captain Davy Klaassen the oldest player in a team boasting an average age of 20 years and 139 days.

Tottenham 2-1 Manchester United (Wanyama 6, Kane 48; Rooney 71)

José Mourinho tries to rouse his United side
José Mourinho tries to rouse his United side©Getty Images

Line-up: De Gea; Smalling, Bailly, Jones; Tuanzebe (Herrera 61), Rooney, Carrick, Blind; Lingard (Mkhitaryan 61), Mata (Rashford 79); Martial.

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first): LDLWDD

  • Manchester United will need to beat Ajax in Stockholm on 24 May if they hope to enter the UEFA Champions League next season after their top-four chances were extinguished at White Hart Lane. José Mourinho gave 19-year-old defender Axel Tuanzebe his first ever Premier League start, but Tottenham raced out of the blocks, with Victor Wanyama heading in before Harry Kane doubled the deficit just after half-time. Although Wayne Rooney halved the lead with his fifth league goal this term, United slipped to a second defeat in north London in the space of eight days.