Jose Mourinho: 'I would be very happy if Wayne Rooney stays'

They will learn a lot from it and we will become stronger. They've now won three UEFA Champions League trophies, two Europa Cup's and one Super Cup. That's what we've done.

"The start was important and after the goals we controlled the game".

Regardless, Man United's stayed the course and courtesy of a Paul Pogba goal in the first half they went in at HT with a 1-0 lead. "They are not used to play a final". It's all new for them.

Bosz put that down to a number of factors: The enormity of the occasion, the team's inexperience, United's cautious approach and physicality, and a dose of misfortune.

Chris Smalling rose to meet a corner from the right, heading on for Mkhitaryan to smartly lift into the roof of the net in front of United's raucous support.

Pogba, who opened the scoring in the game, dedicated the triumph to the victims, saying: "We played for the people who died". It obviously takes happiness from our achievement.

"We were really, really sad because you think about life and football and it's not choice".

While football may have been pushed to the back burner, the win pushes Manchester United, who finished sixth in the Premier League with 69 points, back into the Champions League.

Wayne Rooney made a brief appearance as a substitute with a minute left and was handed the captain's armband by Antonio Valencia on what could well be his farewell appearance for United.

It was billed as a clash between the efficiency of Mourinho's United against the swagger and youthful exuberance of Ajax.

That was the last chance of note United would muster as Ajax began to settle, although dawdling Sanchez was fortunate not to be picked off by Rashford.

"It was the victory for pragmatism", Mourinho said, "a victory of the humble people".

For Mourinho, that meant long balls to Marouane Fellaini, a regular attacking outlet because of his height and physical presence. His crucial goal had a huge element of fortune to it, though.

Not that United fans will be worrying too much about the likely pattern of potential matches next season against the giants of Europe.

For Ajax, it does mean they are denied their first European trophy since 1995, however as runners-up in the Eredivisie, they have still qualified for the Champions League, though they will enter in the third qualifying round as opposed to the group stage.

  • Julie Sanders