Man United, Ajax advance to Europa League final

Lacazette return gives Lyon hope of Ajax turnaround

Manchester United and Ajax advanced to the Europa League final on Thursday, bringing together two of the continent's grandest soccer clubs looking to regain their former lustre.

Ajax look the most likely opponents for United after the Dutch giants thrashed Lyon 4-1 in the first leg of their semi-final at the Amsterdam ArenA - soon to be renamed the Johan Cruyff ArenA.

Ajax's young side were clearly rattled and at the start of the second half displayed none of the composure they had in the first.

"The guys were great with the tension, had chances and scored with one", Bosz said in his post-match press conference.

The team which had dominated the previous 135 minutes were gone, and just like Beşiktaş's futile efforts to exclusively defend their goal in Parc Olympique Lyonnais, they wholeheartedly left the driving seat for Lyon and nearly presented with the tickets to the final.

The second semi-final of the Europa League will take place in France as Lyon will host Ajax in what should be an exciting game.

With Ajax on the back foot, Lyon midfielder Rachid Ghezzal set up a frantic finish when his downward header from Poland midfielder Maciej Rybus' excellent cross from the left made it 3-1 in the 81st. Ajax on the other side also are very capable in front of goal as they showed in the first leg and in their quarter final clash.

"We played really well at home in the first leg and we repeated that for the first 40 minutes here (in Lyon)".

Ajax, who reached the final with a 5-4 aggregate win, have also been charged over "acts of damage" during Thursday's match. "It is a victory for football".

Ajax coach Peter Bosz: "We want to play our own, high-pressing game".

"We weren't far away from qualifying".

There was some dejection after the first leg, but I have stressed that it is still only half-time in the tie and it's still possible for us [to progress]. But we'll have to keep our nerve and, importantly, stay solid defensively.

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