Thursday 24 August 2017

Ajax's coach Peter Bosz was not impressed with Manchester United's style of play in Europa League final

Former Ajax coach Peter Bosz after the Europa League final
Former Ajax coach Peter Bosz after the Europa League final

Richard Thomas

Ajax head coach Peter Bosz criticised Manchester United’s ‘long ball’ tactics after the Dutch side lost last night’s Europa League final.

In a match of few clear opportunities in Stockholm, goals by Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan consigned the Amsterdam side to a 2-0 defeat in the club’s first European final appearance since 1996.

And, speaking at his post-match press conference, the Ajax boss expressed his disappointment with the way events in the Friends Arena had panned out.

"I haven't seen the Ajax that I'm used to, which means good football, high pressing and being dominant,” Bosz reflected. "I'm disappointed because you play finals to win them. We didn't.”

The 53-year-old added that Jose Mourinho’s tactics had played a major part in nullifying the 69% of the possession his side enjoyed, making the contest a ‘boring’ spectacle.

"High pressing was difficult because Man United only played long balls and didn't take any risks in the build-up. I think it was a boring game. There were no chances for either side."

The match was, of course, played out in the backdrop of Monday night’s terror attack at the Manchester Arena, which claimed the lives of at least 22 victims.

"Obviously both sides were affected,” Bosz admitted. “But once you play the final, for that moment you forget it. You have to play."

Ajax’s defeat means they finish the season trophyless, having finished as runners up to Feyenoord in the Eredivisie and lost in the last 16 of the Dutch Cup.

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