EYE WITNESS PLAYER & MATCH REPORTS
4th December 2017 Alanyaspor 1 Kayserispor 2 Super League.
1. Mamadou Fofana (Mali) - Left sided centre back, can deliver a pass, possibly issues re positioning.
2. Fabrice N'Sakala (DR Congo) - left back, often got forward, strong tackler.
3. Chisamba Lungu (Zambia) - mid height striker, generally limited against solid defence, struggled to get involved, subbed on 70 mins.
4. Isaac Sackey (Ghana) - Solid presence in midfield, competed, moved into defence when down to ten men. Booked at the end.
1. Jean Kana-Biyik (Cameroon) - Solid centre back, right foot pass, wins headers.
2. Stephane Badji (Senegal) - presence in central midfield, good right foot delivery.
3. Ryan Mendes (Cape Verde) - wide midfield, mostly right foot, set up first goal, booked, good control.
3rd December Konyaspor 0 Bursaspor 3 Super League.
1. Mehdi Bourabia (Morocco) - Started right midfield, strong right foot shot, in 2nd half more in centre and more involved. Influenced better second period for the hosts. Booked.
2. Moryke Fofana (Ivory Coast) - attacking midfield, later wide left, worked to create chances in first half though generally thwarted.
3. Patrick Friday Eze (Nigeria) - centre forward, booked early, found it tough against Bursa defence. Subbed at half time.
4. Wilfried Moke (DRC) - substitute to shore up defence. Right footed defender, looked solid.
5. Malick Evouna (Gabon) - sub. striker, had one good chance near the end.
1. Ricardo Faty (Senegal) - impressive, organiser of defence, tall - won most headers, sharp interceptions.
2. Emmanuel Agyeman Badu (Ghana) - part of solid Bursa setup, central midfield, had time to break forward, looked sharp.
3. Jires Kembo-Ekoko (DRC) - left sided forward, mostly broke inside onto right foot, but scored second with left. Subbed on 60 mins.
4. Dzon Delarge (Congo) - late sub into left midfield, showed some pace.
2nd December Besiktas 2 Galatasaray 0 Super League.
1. Papa NDiaye (Senegal) - centre/right midfield, right foot pass, generally solid, some tidying up.
2. Sofiane Feghouli (Algeria) - attacking midfield, worked along the line, a few good breaks, booked. Like many limited possession.
3. Younes Belhanda (Morocco) - midfield, right foot delivery from set plays, covered the ground, subbed on 69 minutes.
4. Garry Rodrigues (Cape Verde) - some useful combinations from midfield, but as with the others mostly out of possession. Subbed on 58 mins.
25th November 2017 Le Havre 1 Lens 0 Ligue 2.
Le Havre :
1. Zinedine Ferhat (Algeria) - mostly right midfield. mixed results from deliveries, took some set plays.
2. Amos Youga (CAR) - central midfield, very solid looking, left & right foot pass, booked. Subb'd on 70 minutes.
1. Souleymane Diarra (Mali) - central midfield, right footed, neat but slight figure, took some set plays, consistent.
2. Cyrille Bayala (Burkina Faso) - lively left sided forward, set up good chance, subb'd late on.
3. Karim Hafez (Egypt) - looked steady at left back.
4. Moussa Maazou (Niger) - late sub., tall forward.
30th October 2017 Portimonense 5 Vitoria Setubal 2 Primeira Liga.
1. Hackman (Ghana) - tall right back, can win headers, calm looking, concentrated on defence, pressured by opposing wing back.
2. Lumor (Ghana) - left back, left footed, again had to contend with aggressive opposition full back, sometimes exposed, but did setup one of the home goals.
Vitoria Setubal :
1. Vasco Fernandes (Guinea Bissau) - left sided centre back, right footed, part of leaky defence, sent off (after VAR review) for high challenge on 66 minutes.
2. Arnold (DR Congo) - adventurous right back, scored opener when in attack, often worked down flank.
28th October Boavista 0 Porto 3 Primeira Liga.
1. Idrissa Mandiang (Senegal) - Captain, blond mohican, combative in central midfield in feisty encounter, headed over half chance, ended frustrated.
2. Kuka (Cape Verde) - left midfield, long hair, right footed, some tricks but limited. Subbed on 65 minutes.
3. Yusupha Njie (Gambia) - Slight striker. Flicked chance in first half, willing, subbed on 75 minutes.
4. Mateus (Angola) - sub. for Kuka. missed good chance. Like many was booked.
1. Yacine Brahimi (Algeria) - played wide left. Often caused threats, set up one goal and scored the clincher.
2. Vincent Aboubakar (Cameroon) - one of a pair of very solid strikers. Not too many chances early but converted opener from close range at start of 2nd period. Subbed at end.
3. Moussa Marega (Mali) - the other half of Porto's solid front two. Prodded home the second goal.
14th October 2017 Getafe v Real Madrid La Liga
1. Djene Dakonam (Togo) - Centre back, has pace, able to intercept, occasional error, marked Ronaldo at times, overall competent.
2. Faycal Fajr (Morocco) - Played across midfield, involved in set plays, difficult to combat Kroos, Asensio etc.
3. Amath Ndiaye (Senegal) - Wide forward, some pace, some errors, but kept going, substituted on 68 minutes.
4. Medhi Lacen (Algeria) - Appeared for last 20 minutes or so. Few chances. Was booked.
5. Achraf Hakimi (Morocco) - Real Madrid right back, got forward and contributed to moves. Also looked solid in defence.
12th October CD Lugo 2 Cordoba 0 Segunda Division.
1. Ramon Azeez (Nigeria) - Has appeared at various levels for his country. Played in central midfield for Lugo. Smallish, right footed with tidy distribution. Occasionally got forward as part of combination moves. Generally solid and played the whole 90 minutes.
17th September Jahn Regensburg 0 Dynamo Dresden 2 Bundesliga II
1. Peniel Mlapa (Togo) - Adebayor lookalike. Slightly awkward at times. Ex-Germany U-21 striker. Won headers for Dynamo but had limited chances to offer threats on goal. Taken off after 66 minutes.
16th September SCR Altach 2 Rapid Vienna 2 Austrian Bundesliga.
1. Bernard Tekpetey (Ghana) - Produced an excellent second half substitute appearance for SCR. Chunky wide man. Played on the right. Helped set up their first goal and scored the second after cutting in from the wing. Great left foot strike.
14th September Hertha Berlin 0 Athletic Bilbao 0 Europa League.
1. Salomon Kalou (Ivory Coast) - a regular scorer for Hertha he had one of the few chances in a tight match. Played left midfield and was often involved though sometimes his touching was lacking. Went off to good applause with five minutes remaining.
13th September RB Leipzig 1 Monaco 1 UEFA Champions League.
1, Almamy Toure (Mali) - solid right back. Looked out of position when RB scored. Some scrappy moments but supplied the cross from which Monaco equalised. Not tested too much with RB tending to play through the middle.
2. Keita Balde (Senegal) - substitute for last 15 minutes or so. Some clever work down the left nearly set up a goal.
3. Rachid Ghezzal (Algeria) - late sub. limited involvement.
12th September 2017 Bayern Munich 3 Anderlecht 0 UEFA Champions League.
Bundesliga champions Bayern began their Champions League campaign against long-odds underdogs Anderlecht.
After ten minutes all bets were off as was Kums of the visitors who received a red card for holding back Robert Lewandowski.
The prolific Polish striker delivered the spot kick in typical fashion.
One nil down and with ten men it looked a hopeless cause for the Belgians.
But Trebel managed to test Neuer and Stanciu slipped when well placed to score.
Add in an effort from Chipciu that struck the post and it was not quite as easy as the local fans expected.
But ultimately the Bavarians prevailed after a straightforward cross was turned in by Thiago and a Boateng through ball allowed Kimmick to round the goalie and complete the victory.
Sofiane Hanni (Algeria) like many of his team mates spent most of the match defending as did subs. Onyekuru (Nigeria) and, at the end, Harbaoui (Tunisia)
Despite playing so much of the game with ten men Anderlecht kept a generally moderate Bayern, operating with ageing wide men Ribery and Robben, at bay for long periods.
And perhaps they might even have shocked the home side.
report - John Bethell
4th September England 2 Slovakia 1 World Cup qualifier.
England faced the second placed team in Group F at Wembley before over 67,000.
After a slow start they soon received a setback when Lobotka benefited from a Rashford error to score within 3 minutes.
But the young Manchester United striker would redeem himself such that he would ultimately receive the man-of-the-match award.
It was from one of his corners, in what looked like a rehearsed move, that Eric Dier clipped in the equaliser.
That enabled England to go into the break level at 1-1.
The clincher would come just before the hour when Rashford drove in a right foot shot past the Slovakia goalie.
And though the well supported visitors had some threats, including an effort that was excellently blocked by Joe Hart, England were generally in control.
Despite the inevitable doubts about their abilities against the top teams (and Iceland) it was another step along the way towards Russia 2017 for the 'Three Lions'.
report - John Bethell
3rd September Cremonese 3 Avellino 1 Serie B
1. Benjamin Mokulu (DR Congo) - Tall, solid striker. Some good right foot touches. Willing to tackle back. Appreciated by the home fans for his effort. Headed goal in first half.
2. Idrissa Camara (Guinea Bissau) - Came on as sub. after 62 minutes for Avellino. Mostly wide right. Booked for tripping when tracking back. Left footed.
25th August Silkeborg 0 Hobro 2 Danish Superliga.
1. Ibrahim Moro (Ghana) - Holding midfield for Silkeborg. Some nice right foot touches and distribution. Kept going. Doesn't look like a natural goalscorer.
2. Quincy Antipas (Zimbabwe) - Hobro forward. Moved along the line. Was part of solid performance by the visitors. Top knot. Wild finishing. Substituted on 73 minues.
21st August 2017 Sundsvall 1 Kalmar 3 Sweden.
1. Papa Alioune Diouf (Senegal) - Late substitute for Kalmar. Good aerial ability and some pace.
20th August 2017 Ostersund 0 AIK 3 Sweden.
1. Henok Goitom (Eritrea) - generally withdrawn AIK striker. Showed some nice touches in the build up play.
2. Samuel Mensah (Ghana) - played centre back for Ostersund. Booked for a challenge.
3. Patrick Kpozo (Ghana) - also part of the home defence. Looked good going forward from full back and delivered some useful crosses. But left space behind.
4. Salisu Gero (Nigeria) - mostly playing as an Ostersund wide man. Some chances but inaccurate finishes.
5. Fouad Bachirou (Comoros) - sub. for Ostersund. Holding midfield. Cracked a fine effort against the bar.
19th August 2017 AFC Eskilstuna 3 Malmo 1 Sweden.
1. Mohamed Buya Turay (Sierra Leone) - a real livewire. Scored two fine headed goals and proved a consistent threat to the prospective league champions. Played as central striker and out wide.
2. Abdul Razak (Ivory Coast) - left midfield. Also contributed to the stunning first half performance by the bottom club.
3. Taye Taiwo (Nigeria) - solid at full back for AFC. Very experienced.
4. Kingsley Sarfo (Ghana) - brought on for the last 25 minutes by Malmo coach. Small with good left foot.
7th August 2017 Stromsgodset 2 Valerenga 0 Norway.
1. Francisco Junior (Guinea-Bissau) - a lively presence in midfield for the home side during the first period.
2. Adam Larsen Kwarasey (Ghana) - was busy in the Valerenga goal. Just failed to save the opening goal but did make some fine stops later in the match.
3. Ernest Agyiri (Ghana) - appeared as a substitute for the visitors. A talent - ex-Right to Dream Academy and on loan from Manchester City. Delivered a dangerous free kick and showed some nice left foot skills.
4. Chirdera Ejuke (Nigeria) - also came on as a substitute for Valerenga.
5th August 2017 Rosenborg 4 Kristiansund 1 Norway.
1. Daouda Karamoko Bamba (Ivory Coast) - Played as a forward for Kristiansund and though a willing runner had little support or service. However he did score the visitors consolation goal on 58 minutes.
2. Aliou Coly and Amidou Diop (both Senegal) - also appeared for Kristiansund.
9th July 2017 Mexico 3 El Salvador 1 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The favourites began their campaign for another Gold Cup title with a comfortable victory in front of 53,000 fans in San Diego.
As usual the Mexican fans provided plenty of noise and spectacle as they watched their team, comprising all locally based players, set about their opponents in a pacy fashion.
Within eight minutes they were one ahead after Hedgardo Marin headed in at the far post.
But El Salvador would reply almost immediately as striker Nelson Bonilla was put through to slide the ball past Corona for a surprise equaliser.
The Mexican goalie nearly gifted their opponents another with a wayward kick but Mayen misjudged the chipped return.
All that spurred Mexico into more efforts and they would go in front again following another long cross that was brilliantly volleyed home by Elias Hernandez.
Further chances came and went with Mexico attaining a dominant 72% possession in the first period.
The pattern would continue after the interval with Pineda and Molina coming on for the men in green.
And it was Pineda who would be given the opportunity for the clincher, on 55 minutes, when Villalobos in the El Salvador failed to reach a cross allowing the substitute an easy finish.
With the game becoming a little fragmented, not helped by the substitution of the injured El Salvador goalie, Mexico showed more of their flowing moves but without adding to the scoreline.
All this was enjoyed by their fans, many of whom had set up barbeques in the vast car park at the Qualcomm stadium.
They would go home happy and no doubt feeling confident about their teams chances of another Gold Cup title.
report - John Bethell
8th July USA 1 Panama 1 CONCACAF Gold Cup
The hosts began their Gold Cup campaign with a draw before 47,000 in the Nissan stadium in Nashville.
Fielding a team without many of the big names from the past the US would be matched by Panama in a first half played at a steady pace in hot conditions.
So hot in fact that we had a drinks break after half an hour.
One feature of the opening 45 minutes was the contribution of Kelyn Rowe who tested Calderon in the opposition goal on a couple of occasions.
And it would be from good work by Rowe down the left that resulted in UK-born Dom Dwyer sweeping home the opener on 50 minutes.
However that sparked Panama into action and after some pressure they duly gained parity.
Firstly Barcenas supplied the cross for Torres to shoot and although Brad Guzan saved that effort Camargo was on hand to force home the equaliser.
It had taken them 10 minutes to respond.
Earlier threats had come from Torres and the tricky Diaz while the US would have a plausible penalty claim denied.
As time wore on both sides seemed fairly satisfied knowing that a draw would still be OK given that they would be expected to beat the other two group members - Martinique and Nicaragua.
(Martinique would defeat Nicaragua 2-0 in the second match with Kevin Parsemain and Steeven Langil getting the goals)
report - John Bethell
5th July 2017 Orlando City 1 Toronto 3 MLS.
Toronto enhanced their challenge at the top of the Eastern Conference with this solid away win inspired by Sebastian Giovinco.
The Italian was at the heart of most of the significant moves by the Canadians, firstly providing the through pass for Jozy Altidore to open the scoring in the 17th minute.
Altidore would return the compliment just after the interval to give the Giovinco an easy finish into an unguarded net.
That was a damper for the 25,000 home fans.
However Brazilian star Kaka did setup substitute Carlos Rivas to pull one back with a shot that went in off the post on 62 minutes.
But within three minutes Toronto had restored their two goal lead when Giovinco superbly placed a free kick beyond Bendik for the clincher.
The visitors might have had more having struck the woodwork in the first period and gone close through Hamilton towards the conclusion.
With a potent attack and the likes of Michael Bradley to organise the midfield Toronto will no doubt be a strong force as the season progresses.
While Orlando, one of the newer expansion teams, were second best on this evening they can look back on some moments of skill from Kaka and Giles Barnes.
report - John Bethell
4th July Atlanta Utd 4 San Jose Earthquakes 2 MLS.
Atlanta celebrated Independence Day with this entertaining victory before a sellout crowd at the Bobby Dodd (Georgia Tech) stadium.
After the showers had subsided and the sun returned the match began with the visitors taking an early lead.
San Jose, fresh from winning a dramatic California clasico, started on the front foot after Tommy Thompson drove in a stray defensive pass.
Danny Hoesen might have added a second on 10 minutes but he only reached the side netting.
As the first half wore on Atlanta began to see more of the play and they got a big advantage when defender Sarkodie was given a second yellow for another foul meaning SJ played the remainder of the game with ten men.
Following the interval Atlanta set about winning the match in impressive fashion beginning with Venezuelan striker heading back a cross for Chilean Carlos Carmona to score from close range.
On 65 another cross was headed home by Martinez for the first of his double.
However it was immediately reciprocated when a far post cross from Lina was brilliantly volleyed home by Chris Wondolowski for 2-2.
A stunner for the passionate home crowd.
But Atlanta continued to press, particularly down the left wing.
Then with ten minutes remaining, just for a change, a right cross from sub. Gressel was headed home by Tottenham loanee Anton Walkes.
That enhanced the superb atmosphere and more was to follow when Martinez combined with Almiron to shoot past Bingham and complete the victory.
It was only left for Victor Bernardez to be given a red card, presumably for a stamp on Martinez, and San Jose ended with nine men.
The 45,000 home fans could then enjoy the July 4th fireworks and go home happy.
As would any neutral observer watching this excellent MLS encounter.
report - John Bethell
1st July San Jose Earthquakes 2 LA Galaxy 1 MLS.
Known as the California clasico this clash between teams from North and South of the Golden State was watched by over 50,000 fans in Stanford stadium.
Though they had to wait some time most of them would go home happy.
But it was the visitors who went ahead after a free kick was powered home by Belgian defender Jelle van Damme after just 11 minutes.
In response San Jose tended to control possession without getting too close to troubling goalie Clement Diop.
They did have one plausible shout for a penalty, that was denied and with no recourse to the 'VAR' the home side had to settle for being a goal down at the interval.
We did see some promising glimpses from Emmanuel Boateng (Ghana) but he seemed to fade and was substituted in the second period.
As the half progressed San Jose got closer and Tommy Thompson cracked an effort against the woodwork.
With the home side doing most of the pressing and LA depending on breakaways we finally saw an equaliser.
Following a good save by David Bingham the ball reached the edge of the LA penalty area and to experienced striker Chris Wondolowski whose left foot shot was deflected past Diop for 1-1.
That was on 75 minutes.
The crowd enjoyed that and they would certainly get even more excited when, in the very last minute, a move down the right produced sub. Shea Salinas in space and he smashed home the winner to spark the celebrations.
It was a memorable win against their rivals and moved the Earthquakes up to 4th in the Western Conference.
Cue the fireworks.
report - John Bethell.
22nd June 2017 Australia 1 Cameroon 1 FIFA Confederations Cup
Despite an improved performance this draw will probably not be enough to give the Indomitable Lions a place in the final four of the Confederations Cup.
At least the front three of Aboubakar, Moukandjo and Bassogog were able to display some of their talents with solid support from Siani and Zambo Anguissa.
And it was the latter who latched onto a long ball down the right wing to neatly chip the ball past Ryan in the Australian goal just before the half time whistle.
It was a deserved lead for the African champions who had overcome a bright start by their opponents to develop some promising moves.
And they should have gone further ahead when the speedy Bassogog cut the ball back for Aboubakar to finish only for the Besiktas striker to screw the ball wide.
The same man would spurn at least four other opportunities.
Sadly for Cameroon this would prove costly as on the hour defender Mabouka brought down Gersbach in the area.
The 'VAR' duly confirmed the penalty and captain Milligan comfortably scored the leveller.
As the match moved towards a conclusion it was Cameroon doing most of the pressing and it was Aboubakar doing most of the missing.
Both teams really needed to win and neither, in a group containing Germany and Chile, seem likely to progress.
35,000 watched, mostly favouring the Cameroonians, on a chilly evening on Krestovsky Island, Saint Petersburg.
report - John Bethell
21st June 2017 Russia 0 Portugal 1 Confederations Cup
A Cristiano Ronaldo header on eight minutes was enough for the European champions to beat the hosts before 43,000 in Moscow.
It could signal an early exit for the Russians who found it difficult to threaten a solid Portuguese defence.
Striker Smolov and young midfielder Alexsandr Golovin did manage some efforts but none that really troubled goalie Rui Patricio.
While at the other end Akinfeev was much busier.
Combinations between Andre Silva, Ronaldo and Andre Gomes often looked likely to garner another goal for Portugal.
And a right foot shot from Cedric also tested the experienced CSKA keeper.
Russia did apply pressure later in the second half and that increased the noise levels but ultimately without success.
Portugal wound down the clock before surviving a late headed chance by defender Dzhikya.
A goal then would have been tough on Ronaldo and co.
The result left the hosts with work to do against Mexico in game 3.
(And finally it was a match that didn't feature any intervention by the controversial VAR system !)
report - John Bethell
18th June Chile 2 Cameroon 0 Confederations Cup
African champions Cameroon entered the Confederations Cup against a well supported Chilean side in the stadium of Spartak Moscow.
And they soon found themselves under pressure as the South Americans tore holes in the opposition defence with left back Collins Fai having an especially difficult first period.
It seemed Fabrice Ondoa's goal led a charmed life with Chile striker Vargas often involved in the scoring threats.
And it was Vargas who netted on the stroke of half-time only for the forward to be given, controversially, offside.
That was after the match officials made reference to the VAR (Video assistant referee) system.
That process would become a regular occurrence.
So Chile went into the break feeling aggrieved.
And they certainly should have been in front although Aboubakar and Moukandjo both had half chances for the Indomitable Lions.
Having survived Cameroon produced more at the beginning of the second period including a particularly dangerous cross by Zambo Anguissa.
But after the introduction of Chile talisman Alexis Sanchez they would eventually succumb to defeat.
It was from Sanchez' measured cross that Vidal powerfully headed home the opener with ten minutes remaining.
And the Chileans added another, in the final minutes, after Sanchez delayed only for Vargas to score from the follow-up.
Perhaps inevitably, and to some amusement, the VAR system was again in action.
This time confirming it was a a valid goal.
For Cameroon it had been a torrid beginning and there had been little opportunity for Bassogog and co. to show their talent.
report - John Bethell
17th June 2017 Russia 2 New Zealand 0 FIFA Confederations Cup.
The hosts began their campaign before 50,000 fans in the new Saint Petersburg stadium.
And a goal in each half was enough for a solid start against a limited All Whites team.
Russia started briskly with Samedov taking the set plays that caused various difficulties in the opposition defence.
Twice within a few minutes NZ were clearing efforts off their goal line.
Then on the half hour Denis Glushakov broke through to prod the ball in off the post and the unlucky Boxall.
It was a well deserved lead and greeted with plenty of noise by the local fans and no doubt well received by the onlooking President Putin.
A similar pattern followed after the break and the predictable clincher came with twenty minutes remaining as a right wing cross reached striker Smolov for an easy finish.
Russia might have added another but Marinovic would make some decent saves.
Although NZ did threaten towards the end, particularly through a Thomas shot and a Tommy Smith header, Akinfeev was equally competent in the home goal.
In the end it was a reasonably satisfying beginning for the hosts but more severe tests are sure to follow.
report - John Bethell
3rd June 2017 Juventus 1 Real Madrid 4 UEFA Champions League final.
Real Madrid proved themselves the masters of the Champions League by winning a record 12th title and becoming the first team to retain the trophy in the current format.
It was a night in the Welsh Principality Stadium when Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo would be instrumental in delivering two of the goals against a team renowned for its defensive prowess.
Under a closed roof and watched by the expectant Italian fans Juventus began well, taking the game to their opponents.
But on twenty minutes a combination move with Carvajal gave Ronaldo the chance to produce a right foot shot that was partially deflected past Buffon.
However Juve soon replied and it was special effort, set up by Alex Sandro then Higuain and brilliantly hooked over Navas by Mario Mandzukic.
That gave the noisy Italian contingent renewed hope that destiny was still on their side.
So Juventus went into the half time break with the momentum.
But after the interval the Los Blancos midfield, with Modric a key player, set about changing the pattern.
After a period of pressure the ball broke to Casemiro, some 35 metres out, and his shot found its way past the Juve defence again via a deflection.
It was cruel on legendary goalie Buffon.
And worse was to follow as Modric broke down the right to deliver a cross that was met by the onrushing Ronaldo to score number 3 on 64 minutes.
By now RM were in control and Juve were restricted to few serious threats.
To add to the misery of the Italians giants Colombian substitute Juan Cuadrado was harshly dismissed on 83 minutes following a clash with Sergio Ramos.
Towards the end coach Zinedine Zidane gave Welsh star Gareth Bale a runout in his home country before introducing young star Marco Asensio.
And it would be Asensio who converted a Marcelo inside pass for the final goal in added time.
It had been a clinical performance by the Spanish league winners and a victory for an outstanding attack against a superb defence.
39 year old Buffon, as classy as ever in defeat, could reflect on probably his last chance of CL glory and for his club the wait goes on for a 3rd such title.
Meanwhile in Madrid the tapas would be consumed with extra relish and the ghosts of Puskas and Di Stefano and co. would be nodding in approval.
report - John Bethell
24th May 2017 Ajax 0 Manchester Utd 2 UEFA Europa League final.
On an emotional evening in the Friends Arena, Stockholm a goal in each half secured a first-ever Europa League triumph for United.
Strong favourites from the outset Jose Mourinho's men proved too powerful for a young Ajax team.
They began well against a nervy looking Dutch side and a deflected Paul Pogba left foot effort set them on their way to the title.
Ajax did produce some first period threats in particular from Burkina Faso star Bertrand Traore.
But despite seeing plenty of the ball the end result was often disappointing and Danish striker Kasper Dolberg never had a decent opportunity.
Romero in the United goal was rarely tested.
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