Ajax's youngsters come up short in Europa League final
- Author: Julie Sanders May 25, 2017,
May 25, 2017, 18:16
Ander Herrera has admitted it was hard for the Manchester United players to train in the build up to the Europa League final after the terrorist attack that devastated Manchester on Monday, while Paul Pogba dedicated the triumph to city and the rest of the country.
On Monday, a suicide bomber set off an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England that killed 22 people and injured 59 others.
It was no man of the match performance - that honour went to Herrera - and not exactly the glitzy display United smashed the transfer record for, but Pogba's decisive role will help ease the pressure on him after an underwhelming first season at Old Trafford for both the France worldwide and the team.
"Yesterday morning we were devastated and really sad", added the Spaniard, who has developed into one of Jose Mourinho's most valuable players this campaign, his third at United, and has won the admiration of supporters for his dedication to the side. Yet at the same time, the fact that life and football keeps going despite what has happened and provides ordinary people with a sense of escapism and routine in such surreal circumstances feels hugely significant.
"It was a great final and my first European final with United, hopefully the first of many".
"We came without the happiness we should bring with us, because when you come for these big matches, you come happy, you come proud".
Pogba was satisfied with the victory, saying: "We played to win". "I'm so happy today, especially after what happened".
Pogba, their world-record £89m summer signing, said: "We know things like this are very sad, all over the world".
"We are very happy. They put on a block and stayed away from everything and concentrated on a football match, which we did very well".
He said: "I am very humble when I play finals".
A Juve win against Real Madrid in Cardiff on June 3 would see the Italian giants face United in the UEFA Super Cup and Pogba welcomed that potential clash.
Well, the basics from the Europa League victory are simple. He knew exactly what the win meant: It was hugely important for the upward trajectory of his job at United and the challenge of restoring them to the top.
A kiss for Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho's fourth European trophy. But the world goes on and does not stop and we have to do our work.
But the United manager insisted that their tactics were justified given that they emerged with the trophy in hand.
Manchester fans were screaming and whistling in joy, while their Ajax counterparts were biting their nails as the English club won 2-0.
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.