Football

Mkhitaryan and Herrera.

What Ander Herrera did seconds before Henrikh Mkhitaryan's goal is brilliant

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Manchester United received a huge slice during their Europa League victory over Ajax when Paul Pogba’s shot took a wicked deflection before finding the back of the net.

It gave United a first-half lead and allowed them to take control of the game.

But their Dutch opponents were still in the match knowing they were only trailing by one goal.

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However, the match was effectively over three minutes into the second-half.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan flicked Chris Smalling’s header from a corner into the back of the net to put the game beyond Ajax, despite there still being 42 minutes to play.

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While Mkhitaryan will be dubbed the hero for scoring the all important second goal, there’s another man that deserves credit - Ander Herrera.

During the ITV highlight show, they noticed something that the Spaniard did that allowed Mkhitaryan to score.

The clip shows the Armenian walking back towards the halfway line to take up his defensive position in a bid to stop a potential counter-attack - after all, he’s unlikely to be winning any headers in the box.

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However, Herrera had other ideas. As he was making his way into the box, he decided he should swap roles with Mkhitaryan.

It meant the winger was able to jog into the box and, seconds later, got his foot to Smalling’s header to double United’s lead.

Ajax v Manchester United - UEFA Europa League Final

It was Mkhitaryan’s goal but Herrera’s deserves an assist.

Watch: Herrara's genius moment

Take a look:

Herrera actually picked up the UEFA Man of the Match award - although we doubt the people that decided the award saw this influential moment from him.

Herrera’s performance after the game was also admirable.

Herrera pays tribute

He paid tribute to the victims of the horrific Manchester attacks on Monday and pleaded for peace in the world.

This is just football and what happened two days ago was horrible,” he said.

“We want peace in the world, a normal world with respect.

Ajax v Manchester United - UEFA Europa League Final

“We are just football players but we have an audience so we just want to see everyone work together for a normal world.

“This happened in Manchester but everywhere we want to see a united world and fight for peace. Respect in the world - no more attacks and no more deaths please.

“I want to dedicate this trophy to the victims.”

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Topics:
Ajax
David de Gea
Europa League
Rio Ferdinand
Ryan Giggs
Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Ander Herrera
Football

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