The Dutch side put out the youngest starting XI in a UEFA final ever, but they were unable to impress themselves on a United side looked comfortable from the moment Paul Pogba gave them an 18th minute lead.
Pogba’s left-footed effort looked set to drift harmlessly wide, but a wicked deflection off Davinson Sanchez left goalkeeper Andres Onana with no chance.
Ajax had plenty of the ball but created little, and within two minutes of the second period, Henrikh Mkhitaryan had doubled United’s lead, flicking home a corner from close range.
The Amsterdammers tried to fight back, but were suffocated by a well-drilled United defence who barely gave an inch, as they secured not only the trophy but also a spot in next season’s Champions League.
Here are John Cross’ player ratings from the Friends Arena:
Andres Onana 5
Cameroon keeper wrong footed on United’s opener. Did not command his box.
Joel Veltman 6
Booked. Dutch prospect. Looks very comfortable on the ball, often started attacks.
Davinson Sanchez 6
Deflected Pogba’s shot into the net. Likes to play out from the back but takes risks.
Matthjis De Ligt 6
The 17-year-old wonderkid was in for the suspended Viergever and showed no nerves.
Jairo Riedewald 7
Very effective player, good passing and covered a lot of ground down the left.
Davy Klaassen 6
Creative midfielder, had a hand in 32 goals this season and was busy again.
Lasse Schone 7
Danish midfielder provides the experience and work rate in midfield.
Hiram Ziyech 6
Skilful player, good technician who got forward well from midfield.
Bertrand Traore 7
On-loan from Chelsea, had some dangerous moments on the right.
Kasper Dolberg 6
Teenage talent, has got 19 goals this season but got few openings this time. Subbed.
Amin Younes 5
Quiet and disappointing, failed to give Ajax much attacking threat. Poor.
Subs used: Neres (Dolberg 61), van de Beek (Schone 69), de Jong (Riedewald 81)
Subs not used: Tete, Westermann, Boer, Kluivert
Sergio Romero 6
Good early save from Bertrand to settle any United nerves. Quiet night.
Antonio Valencia 7
Powerful and strong down the right, one burst forced good save from Onana.
Chris Smalling 7
Dominant in the air and looked solid. Won crucial header on United’s second goal.
Daley Blind 7
Reads the game well and often spotted early warning signs in defence.
Matteo Darmian 7
Good performance, did a number on Traore and did not give him much space.
Marouane Fellaini 7
Booked. His pass set up Pogba in the opener and has another very effective game.
Ander Herrera 7
Tenacious and determined in midfield, protected his back four to good effect.
Paul Pogba 8 MOTM
Stood out like a beacon in midfield with his power and physique. Excellent.
Juan Mata 7
Got the nod over Lingard and his extra experience was crucial and telling. Booked.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan 6
Booked. Scored United’s second, you still feel he can do so much more with his ability.
Marcus Rashford 6
Bright start but actually faded and did not hold the ball up well as the lone striker.
Subs used: Lingard (Mkhitaryan 74), Martial (Lingard 83), Rooney (Mata 88)
Subs not used: De Gea, Jones, Rooney, Carrick, Fosu-Mensah