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Dolberg downs Lyon & a sensational Schalke comeback - Ajax's road to the Europa League final

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 727

Pin Dolberg, forward, on the road to Stockholm. AFD
Dolberg, forward, on the road to Stockholm. AFD

Dolberg downs Lyon & a sensational Schalke comeback - Ajax's road to the Europa League final

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 727

We look at Ajax's road to the Europa League final as they prepare to take on Manchester United in Stockholm.

Ajax take on Manchester United in the Europa League final on Wednesday in the culmination of a gruelling campaign to win the competition.

Peter Bosz's men finished second to Feyenoord in the Eredivisie, but now have the chance to win their first European trophy since 1995.

Ajax have already played 14 matches to reach this stage of the tournament, where they take on Jose Mourinho's United side, who need the trophy to book a place in next season's Champions League.

Here, we look at the Amsterdammers' road to Stockholm.

GROUP STAGES

Ajax made an inauspicious start to their Europa League campaign, when Marcus Berg gave Panathinaikos a fifth-minute lead before Bertrand Traore and Jairo Riedewald ensured a come-from-behind 2-1 victory in a match where Hakim Ziyech was one of three players sent off.

Imperious home form has been the bedrock of their run to the final and Kasper Dolberg opened his account for the competition with the only goal against Standard Liege, while the teenage star was also on target as fellow semi-finalists Celta Vigo were downed 3-2.

There were score draws in Liege and Vigo but a 2-0 triumph in the return with Panathinaikos, thanks to Lasse Schone's free-kick and a Kenny Tete strike, made sure of top spot in the group.


ROUND OF 32 – LEGIA WARSAW (1-0 AGG)

Ajax progressed by a solitary goal in each of the knockout rounds, starting with the Legia Warsaw tie in the last-32.

The Dutch side recorded a 0-0 away draw in the first leg despite a late red card for defender Tete.

The second leg saw Ajax edge to a 1-0 triumph and book their place in the next round, Nick Viergever striking early in the second half to send them through.


ROUND OF 16 – FC COPENHAGEN (3-2 AGG)

FC Copenhagen put Ajax under significant pressure in the last 16, winning the home first leg 2-1 thanks to a headed winner from Andreas Cornelius.

Rasmus Falk had put the hosts in front after just 27 seconds, with Dolberg equalising from what looked to be an offside position – a goal that would ultimately prove critical in the tie – before Cornelius' winner.

Two first-half goals in the second leg saw Ajax turn the tie around in an impressive all-round performance, a Traore header and Dolberg's penalty putting Bosz's men 3-2 up on aggregate – a lead they held on to.

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