United settles quickly in Europa League

STEVE DOUGLAS AP Sports Writer Published:

Manchester United adapted quickly to life in the Europa League on Thursday, beating Ajax 2-0 courtesy of a vibrant second-half display in Amsterdam to close in on a place in the competition's last 16.

Ashley Young and Javier Hernandez scored goals after the break as the English champions celebrated their first European match outside the Champions League in 17 years with an easy win at the fallen giants from the Netherlands.

The presence of United and current English leader Manchester City has given the second-tier Europa League a welcome shot in the arm this season. City visits defending champion Porto later Thursday.

Spanish team Atletico Madrid, the 2010 winners, beat Lazio 3-1 away in another high-profile match among the early kickoffs.