Just like the 10.000 Ajacieds who witnessed the UEFA Europa League final in Stockholm, Peter Bosz felt disappointment after the game. Manchester United won by 0-2, winning the Europa League championship.
Ajax was unable to do very much against José Mourinho’s team. The Portuguese tactician saw his team save a mediocre season by winning the European trophy. United didn’t even need to rise to impressive heights. The English team simply played better and smarter than their young opponents from Amsterdam.
‘Not the Ajax that I normally see’
“You play to win in a final, and we couldn’t do that”, said Bosz, looking back on the match in the Friends Arena’s press room. The Ajax coach saw that his team had difficulty with Manchester United. “I didn’t see the Ajax that I normally see”, said Bosz, referring to his team’s slow pace in Stockholm. The opponent wasn’t put under as much pressure as usual. Bosz: “Neither team had many opportunities. The 0-1 started with a throw-in that should have been ours. After that, the shot was deflected and changed direction. I was disappointed with both goals; especially since neither team really had that many good opportunities.”
Paul Pogba’s opening goal early on (deflected by Davinson Sánchez, changing its direction) was painful. Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s 0-2 goal in the 48th minute was the final blow for the Ajacieds. The Amsterdam team fought until the bitter end; unfortunately, victory was never within their reach.
“On Tuesday, we talked about what had happened in Manchester on Monday night”, said the coach, referring to the terrorist attack following the Ariana Grande concert. Bosz didn’t rule out that those events may have impacted the final. “When you play in a final, you want to win it, and you need to forget what happened before.”
“We weren’t good enough today. We didn’t have that many good opportunities, either”, said Bosz. “You can learn from finals; this was my guys’ first final. With this experience, we’ll be stronger next year. Manchester was simply better today. I therefore congratulate Manchester United.”