Watch all the key plays and goals from the Europa League final between Manchester United and Ajax.

By SI.com Staff
May 24, 2017

Manchester United has reached next season's Champions League, the alternate way.

Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored in either half to give Manchester United a 2-0 win over Ajax in the UEFA Europa League final in Stockholm on Wednesday, winning the competition and the Champions League place that comes along with it. The club finished in sixth in the Premier League this season but will be one of five English clubs in the Champions League next season after clinching the secondary trophy.

The teams had met twice before on the European stage, in the 1976 UEFA Cup first round and the 2012 Europa League round of 32, with Manchester United prevailing both times in the two-legged affairs, and United made it 3-for-3 with a straightforward victory at Friends Arena despite being shorthanded with the suspension of Eric Bailly and long-term injury to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

As planned, the teams observed a moment of silence in remembrance of the Manchester attack victims following Monday night's attack at Manchester Arena.

Once the opening whistle blew, Manchester United was nearly gifted a goal in the first minute after directly belting the ball forward. Goalkeeper Andre Onana was caught out off his line trying to punch away the ball, and it fell to Pogba, who attempted a speculative volley from distance but put it wide.

Pogba wound up opening the scoring 16 minutes later. Off a throw-in, United worked the ball to Pogba, who took a rip from 20 yards. His shot took a favorable deflection, beating a wrong-footed Onana to give United the 1-0 lead. 

Mkhitaryan doubled the lead three minutes after halftime off a corner kick. Chris Smalling won a header off the set piece, and Mkhitaryan threw up his leg to flick home the tally with his back to goal to make it 2-0.

The goal was Mkhitaryan's sixth in the Europa League this season, tied for third-most in the competition.

United saw the match out from there, with Mourinho giving Wayne Rooney a final bow with the club, bringing him on for the final minutes of the match.

The club's all-time leading goalscorer is expected to leave this summer, while the team he likely leaves behind prepares for an awaited return to Europe's preeminent competition.

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