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1973 Super Cup: Ajax enjoy early success

Ajax thumped Milan to be crowned champions of the first UEFA-approved Super Cup final.

Ajax line up with the European Champion Clubs' Cup in autumn 1973
Ajax line up with the European Champion Clubs' Cup in autumn 1973 ©Getty Images

AC Milan 1-0 Ajax
(Chiarugi 77)

Ajax 6-0 AC Milan
(Mulder 26, Keizer 35, Neeskens 71, Rep 81, Mühren 84pen, Haan 87)
Ajax win 6-1 on aggregate

The Super Cup was contested for the first time in January 1973, at the instigation of a Dutch journalist, who was keen to confirm the mastery of 1972 European Champion Clubs' Cup Winners Ajax by putting them head-to-head with UEFA Cup Winners' Cup winners Rangers. With Rangers looking for a suitable way to celebrate their centenary, the meeting was arranged as a two-legged affair, with the Dutch side underlining their brilliance with a 3-1 win in the first leg in Glasgow followed by a 3-2 win at home in the second leg.

UEFA took on responsibility for the tournament in time for the second final, which saw Ajax - once more European Cup winners - take on 1973 Cup Winners' Cup winners AC Milan in a two-legged tie midway through January 1974. The opening leg at the San Siro on 9 January proved to be a tight encounter. Luciano Chiarugi scored the only goal of the game after 77 minutes in front of 15,000 supporters to give Milan a slender advantage to take into the second leg at the Olympic stadium in Amsterdam.

In the event, that advantage was to be obliterated by half-time in the second leg on 16 January, as 25,000 supporters saw William Vecchi beaten twice before the break, first by Jan Mulder after 26 minutes and then by Pieter Keizer nine minutes later.

The floodgates opened in the second half as Johann Neeskens made it 3-0 after 71 minutes, and it was to be 4-0 ten minutes later when Johnny Rep scored. Gerrie Mühren then converted a penalty before Arie Haan wrapped things up with a sixth three minutes from time.

The final aggregate score was 6-1, but those whose appetite had been whetted by the first UEFA-approved Super Cup final would have to wait two years for a second as West German European Cup winners Bayern München and East German Cup Winners' Cup winners Magdeburg could not find a convenient date to contest the 1974 competition.