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Ajax manager Peter Bosz admits his side qualification for a first European final in 21 years is a ‘victory for football’.
The Amsterdam giants were put to test in their semi-final second leg away to Lyon, and were beaten 3-1 on the night.
They looked to have put the result beyond doubt through Kasper Dolberg early, but two quick goals by Alexandre Lacazzette made for a nervy ending.
Rachid Ghezzal compounded fears by netting again in the 81st minute, but 10-man Ajax – Nick Viergever was sent off – stood firm for the final 10 minutes or so.
“The guys were great with the tension, had chances and scored with one,” Bosz said.
“There was nothing going on until the last minute of the first half, when everything went wrong.
“Lyon started to believe in it, the crowd were behind them and then you know it is difficult.
“At half time I said, ‘do not panic’. But in the end, especially after the red card for Nick Viergever, we had to survive.
“We have done that and the final result is beautiful. Call it a victory for football.”
Ajax set up a final showdown with Manchester United at Stockholm’s Friends Arena on 25 May.