Published: Thu, May 25, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

United players dedicate Europa League win to Manchester bomb victims

United players dedicate Europa League win to Manchester bomb victims

United finished outside of the Champions League qualification spots at sixth in the Premier League table, but will now feature in the UCL group stage after Wednesday's win.

"The poets are the ones that win every match", said the Portuguese, who had previously led United to success in the Community Shield and League Cup.

"Obviously both sides were affected, but once you play the final I think from that moment you forget it, you have to play". I agree with the UEFA decision to play the match.

But a trophy - indeed, the only significant one United had never won - will go some way to erasing a stultifying Premier League season featuring 10 draws in 19 matches at Old Trafford.

At a time when the city of Manchester needed them the most, Manchester United delivered a fairy tale soccer championship victory that will forever be remembered, not just throughout England, but around the world.

United, whose victory saw them qualify for next season's Champions League, wore black armbands while a minute's silence, which became a minute's applause, was held before kick-off in Stockholm.

Mourinho, a UEFA Cup victor with Porto in 2003 and two-time European champion, has now won all four of the major European finals he has contested.

United players dedicate Europa League win to Manchester bomb victims
United players dedicate Europa League win to Manchester bomb victims

His end-of-year report now is a glowing one, with Mourinho having delivered beyond expectations by winning two major trophies and claiming a passport back into the Champions League. Relief, and then joy and an outbreak of emotion from Jose Mourinho that emphasised just what it means to him and Manchester United to win the Europa League.

"It meant a lot for the club, for us, especially for the city of Manchester", he told reporters.

Ajax, fielding the youngest starting lineup in a European final, were expected to make a quick start as they did in their 4-1 win over Olympique Lyonnais in their semi-final first leg. "You have to learn from it. It was all new for them". "If we keep this squad together, we will be stronger, for sure".

Juan Mata and Chris Smalling emphasised how Manchester United were extra motivated to win the Europa League following Monday's atrocities at Manchester Arena.

He continued: "Yesterday [Tuesday] morning we were devastated, we were really, really sad because when you think about life and football you have no choice".

"It was a very hard week for a lot of us and for the city of Manchester and we tried to win for all the people who have suffered".

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