Monday, 20 August, 2018

With Manchester attack wound still fresh, Man United claims Europa League title

Rita Gibson | 25 May, 2017, 20:23

Manchester United's Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored a goal in each half as their team comfortably outclassed Ajax Amsterdam to win an emotional Europa League final 2-0 and qualify for the group stages of the Champions League.

"Yesterday we didn't want to have the press conference because we had to prepare ourselves to do our job and to try to forget events which are much more important than our job", he said referrring to the decision to cancel the news conference.

"It's just a football game, just a trophy, but if we can support them with this just 1%, it's enough for us".

The victory came amid the backdrop of swirling emotions following the attacks in Manchester with football a mechanism in helping to unite the city.

The side have won the Community Shield, EFL Cup and the Europa League, qualifying for the Champions League once again and it's a massively successful campaign even though the Premier League performances have not been up to expectations.

"We did it, so we're very proud. Nobody can talk. They said we had a bad season but we have three trophies", cheered Pogba.

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"But the world goes on, it doesn't stop. We went out focused to win and we won for Manchester and the country".

United became only the fifth club - after Juventus, Ajax, Bayern Munich and Chelsea - to have won the Champions League, the Europa League and the now defunct European Cup Winners' Cup. "I think it was a boring game".

"To me it is the most important trophy of my career because it is the last (most recent) - that is how I look at things", he said.

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho toned down his media obligations before the final, Manchester City conveyed that the two clubs were united as rivalries were put aside and perspective was given in the build-up to the match that it was ultimately a distraction to what had happened.

Victory enabled United to complete a sweep of European trophies.

Mata, like his team-mates, dedicated the triumph to the city he calls home, saying Europa League success meant more than winning the World Cup, European Championship or Champions League given the circumstances.

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