Manchester United win Europa League, beating Ajax 2-0

Manchester United won the Europa League and qualified for the Champions League

Before this season Jose Mourinho had only spoken about the Europa League derisively - that it was a bad competition for a big club to be in, and so on. I told him and he knows that it's true that in this moment he's in the best moment during his season so he can perfectly be here next season because he's always a very important player for us.

"It's hard to understand so it takes me time to understand and sometimes I'm not able to feel attracted (to the player again)".

"This was, I would say, more special than any other trophy because of that", the Spain global said.

The win preserved Mourinho's ideal record in major European finals, adding to his 2003 UEFA Cup victory with FC Porto, and his Champions League triumphs with the same club in 2004 and Inter Milan in 2010.

There were songs and cheers in Manchester along with a somber undercurrent because, as one man told the BBC, "I think everyone's thinking about the same things".

Beaten coach Peter Bosz said United "only played long balls and didn't take any risks", turning Ajax's first European final in 21 years into what he called "a boring game".

Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has dedicated their Europa League triumph over Ajax Amsterdam to the victims of the deadly bomb attack in Manchester on Monday, while Juan Mata and Paul Pogba also paid tribute to those affected. Kids had gathered for a concert designed for them and as they left, this man, proclaiming himself a religious zealot, carried his murderous body armour of explosives where he must have known there were children and blown himself to pieces.

Manchester United celebrate with Europa League trophy on plane home
GETTY Manchester United celebrate with Europa League trophy on plane home

Jose Mourinho's more experienced side overpowered Ajax across the 90 minutes, conceding possession but denying their opponents the space they needed to play their passing game.

Yet hope was soon dampened as within minutes Ajax's first major European final in 21 years became an uphill battle. "We played intelligently, we did it in a comfortable way".

The win in Stockholm also took Mourinho's trophy count with United to three, adding to the Community Shield and League Cup wins, and salvaged a poor domestic season by giving United a passport back into the Champions League.

"We wouldn't think twice".

Paul Pogba, a £86m "waste of space" in the verdict of many United fans until now, said the result was bequeathed to Manchester just as another United side had won their way to the English Cup Final after the tragedy in Munich in 1959.

City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said: 'We have all been humbled by the strength and solidarity shown by the people of Manchester in the days since the attack.

"But we just come to do our job".

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