Manchester United and Ajax advanced to the Europa League final on Thursday, bringing together two of the continent's grandest soccer clubs looking to regain their former lustre. Reaching the finals is attractive. Dutch worldwide and club captain Davy Klaassen has 19 to his name while Bertrand Traore, on loan from Chelsea, has chipped in with 13.
Lyon's players also collapsed to the ground at the final whistle, having also come within one goal of a dramatic second-leg turnaround.
Substitute Rachid Ghezzal nodded in a heavily-deflected third late on as Ajax played the final minutes with ten men after Dutch worldwide Nick Viergever received a second booking. They had enough chances to force extra time and had only themselves to blame for not doing so.
Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon striker): "It's disappointing, especially since we managed to win on the night".
Manchester United drew the match but go through to the final 2-1. However, it is fair to say that this was not the return leg they had envisaged when Traoré's brace helped them to a 4-1 home win.
Maxime Gonalons (Lyon captain): "We had two games where we showed two very different sides of ourselves". Absolutely, Lion has absolutely nothing to lose, and so we can already assume that the "lions" in their native walls will go all in, which will open the free zones for Ajax counterattacks accordingly.
Having weathered an early Lyon storm, Ajax had the better of the opening stages - Amin Younes and Hakim Ziyech both failing to make the most of gilt-edged chances.
Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette, left, celebrates scoring his second goal during the second leg semi final soccer match between Olympique Lyon and Ajax in the Stade de Lyon, Decines, France, Thursday, May 11, 2017.
Bertrand Traoré had calmly prodded home his side's fourth goal, and his second, putting the game beyond their opponents, rendering Mathieu Valbuena's well taken finish five minutes prior mere consolation.
Ghezzal's header deflected in wickedly off the unfortunate Viergever, who received his marching orders soon after for a late lunge on Rybus.