United Players Dedicate Europa League Trophy To Manchester Terror Victims
Manchester United players spared some thoughts for the victims of the Manchester terror attack after their Europa League win over Ajax on Wednesday night.
Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the scorers in the 2-0 victory, joined Juan Mata to dedicate Manchester United’s Europa League triumph in Stockholm to the victims of Monday’s Manchester terror attack.
A suicide bomber killed 22 people and wounded more than 50 at Manchester Arena after an Ariana Grande concert on Monday night.
Speaking to BT Sport, Pogba said: “We know that things like this are very sad, all over the world: in Manchester, in London and in Paris, too. We had to focus because it was a very important game and we won for them and for the country.
“We played for England, we played for Manchester, and we played for the people who died.”
Referring to the cup win, which earns United a place in the Champions League next season, Pogba, who opened the scoring before Mkhitaryan doubled the lead, added: “We knew we were going to play in the Champions League and the goal was to win the Europa League.
“We did it, so we’re very proud. Some say we had a bad season but the prize is here. We worked hard and we’ll enjoy it now.”
Mkhitaryan was happy to fulfill his colleagues’ prophecies after helping the Red Devils reach the Stockholm showpiece with five European goals this term.
The Armenian said: “Thank you to my team-mates because without them I couldn’t score so many goals. I’m happy that I scored here today in the final because everyone was saying, ‘You’re going to score in the final’ and after the last game against Celta Vigo I was dreaming about scoring in the final and I did.
“We were fighting in two races: the Premier League and the Europa League. In the Premier League we couldn’t hit the target to go to the Champions League but tonight we gave all our effort and now we’re playing in the Champions League.”
Mata added : “It’s massive for us. We came here with one option – to win the trophy that the club had never won and we did it so we are happy.
“It was a great final and my first European final with United, hopefully the first of many.
United manager Jose Mourinho said people of Manchester will ‘pull together’ after bomb attack.
“Especially after what happened (in Manchester) we wanted to win this and we’ll bring the trophy back,” he said.
“It was a very difficult week for a lot of us and for the city of Manchester and we tried to win for all the people who have suffered. This trophy is for them.”
Meanwhile United’s victory on Wednesday night means they have now won more major trophies than any other English club, overtaking rivals Liverpool in the process.
They claimed their 42nd major trophy. That tally is one more than rivals Liverpool have in their cabinet at Anfield.