Ajax survive Lyon rally to secure first European final in 21 years

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Ajax certainly have one foot in the Europa League final after their emphatic 4-1 victory in the first leg as they bid to win their first European honours since the 1994/95 Champions League.

Ajax's Kasper Dolberg jumps to avoid colliding with Lyon's Nicolas Nkoulou during the second leg semi final soccer match between Olympique Lyon and Ajax in the Stade de Lyon, Decines, France, Thursday, May 11, 2017.

Chelsea loanee Bertrand Traore, who also contributed in the first-leg with a poacher's brace, is also set to start and could again be a menace for the Lyon defence with his clever movement and ability to play off his teammates.

Lyon responded and with the last kick of the half Lacazette turned in Nabil Fekir's cross at the far post after Viergever mis-kicked his clearance.

Jose Mourinho and United head into Thursday's action holding a 1-0 first-leg advantage over Celta, and progress would leave them facing a final in Stockholm on May 24.


The Dutch club will contest a European club competition decider for the first time in 21 years with a team assembled for an estimated 22 million euros ($24 million) - a sum dwarfed by the world record 105 million euros United paid for the French global midfielder. Reaching the finals is attractive. I told the players, do not panic, but it was a different game in the second half.

Lyon looked to be out of contention after teenage forward Kasper Dolberg put the visitors ahead in the 27th minute to make it 5-1 on aggregate.

Despite losing to Lyon, Ajax and their fans were in the dancing spirit after sealing a spot in the Europa League final. They went after them even.

"Now we'll see if we can really make history. We were so close to the final, it's hard to take", Lacazette said. We were anxious Ajax would pull away after the first leg but instead they got their hardest game in this season's competition. We gave everything, as did the fans.

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