I was spoilt for choice with a number of United players having a legitimate claim for being Man of the Match after their performances in the Final against Ajax.
With Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, Daley Blind and Chris Smalling having staked a claim, it has to be Marouane Fellaini. He was the bully you find in the school playground last night, against Ajax’s young team. Rampaging up and down the field he never stopped and justified his manager’s tremendous faith in him.
Fellaini’s stats speak for themselves:
15 headers won. The highest ever in a single match in Europa League history.
1 Shot on Target.
It seemed as though Ajax players didn’t bother going up to win a header against the Big Belgian. He played Pogba in for his shot for United’s first goal. Powerful, intimidating and cool-headed, for once, Marouane worked hard and won second balls in the middle of the park all night long. He was also the target man as United launched long balls up field. Best player on the pitch.
Juan Mata had an excellent game if you do not consider the late challenge that earned him a way into the referee’s book. Herrera was the marshal in front of the back four, picking players up and winning balls. Smalling shut out Kasper Dolberg and played with a no-nonsense attitude. Blind was an ideal partner to Smalling and kept the dangerous Traore at bay. Pogba probably justified his price tag with his performance. He was the man pulling the strings for United and scored a goal albeit via a deflection.