Ajax 0 Manchester United 2

Af­ter fin­ish­ing third in Cham­pi­ons Lea­gue Group C, Man­chester Uni­ted were fa­cing AFC Ajax at the Am­s­ter­dam Arena in the Eu­ropa Lea­gue on the 16th of Feb­ruary 2012. Uni­ted were one of the fa­vour­ites to win the tour­na­ment and were ex­pec­ted to deal wi­th the Dutch­men fairly com­fort­ably. Man­chester Uni­ted were mis­sing stri­ker Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov, de­fender Pat­rice Ev­ra, and mid­fielder Ry­an Gig­gs, whi­le Ajax had to man­age with­out wing­er Derk Bo­er­rigter and play­maker Ey­ong En­oh. Bo­th te­ams had their op­por­tun­it­ies to score dur­ing the fir­st pe­riod, but the two de­fences held firm un­til the sound of the ha­lf-time whistle. The Ajax play­ers screamed for a pen­alty-kick in the 45th min­ute af­ter a Rio Fer­dinand chal­lenge on Ser­bi­an in­ter­na­tion­al Miralem Sule­j­mani, on­ly for Itali­an ref­er­ee Gi­an­luca Roc­chi to wave the ap­peal away. Man­chester Uni­ted fi­nally took the lead when the ir­re­press­ible Ash­ley Young some­how fou­nd his way thro­ugh the ho­me de­fence to score the open­ing goal of the even­ing in the 59th min­ute of ac­tion. The Am­s­ter­dam­mers pressed hard for an equal­ising goal, how­ever, wi­th a num­ber of qual­ity scor­ing chances for either si­de as the sec­ond pe­riod progressed.

Then, in the 75th min­ute of the en­counter, Sir Al­ex Fer­guson de­cided to bring on An­tonio Va­lencia for goal scor­er Young, but the speed mer­chant was in­jured just ten min­utes af­ter en­ter­ing the field. Mex­ic­an in­ter­na­tion­al Javi­er Her­nandez ev­entually sup­plied the coup de grace dur­ing the clos­ing sta­ges, tho­ugh, as the marks­man tucked the ball be­neath on­rush­ing Ajax goal­keeper Ken­neth Ver­meer to make the fi­nal score 2-0 in fa­vour of Man­chester Uni­ted. To sum it all up, Frank de Boer´s boys nev­er really got go­ing in this mat­ch wi­th Ferguson’s Euro­pean away­day spe­cial­ists hav­ing long spells in which they could eas­ily have sco­red even more goals. Ajax Te­am: Ken­neth Ver­meer, Toby Alder­weireld, Dico Kop­pers, Vurnon An­ita, Jan Ver­tonghen, Is­mael Ais­sati, Siem de Jong, Chris­ti­an Eriksen, Miralem Sule­j­mani, Aras Ozb­il­iz, Dmitry Bulykin. Sub­stitutes: Nic­olai Boilesen, Ri­cardo Van Rhijn, Da­ley Bli­nd, Nic­olas Lodeiro, Jody Lukoki, Thu­lani Serero, Jasper Cil­lessen. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Da­vid de Gea, Phil Jones, Jon­ny Evans, Rio Fer­dinand, Fa­bio da Silva, Lu­is Nani, Tom Clev­er­ley, Mi­chael Car­rick, Ash­ley Young, Way­ne Roo­ney, Javi­er Her­nandez. Sub­stitutes: Ji-Sung Park, An­tonio Va­lencia, Chris Small­ing, Paul Po­gba, Paul Scho­les, Dan­ny Wel­beck, Ben Amos.


Ashley Young Quickfacts

Af­ter join­ing Man­chester Uni­ted from As­ton Vil­la at the start of the 2011-12 sea­son, Ash­ley Young made his Cham­pi­ons Lea­gue de­but ag­ainst FC Basel at Old Traf­ford on the 27th of Septem­ber 2011. Wi­th Uni­ted 3-2 down ag­ainst the Swiss, Young sco­red in the last min­ute to hand the hosts a 3-3 draw.


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