Paul Pogba said nobody could talk negatively about Manchester United’s season after they won the Europa League on Wednesday night.
United pulled together in their city’s time of darkness, showing no little skill and spirit to overcome Ajax 2-0 and win the Europa League.
Less than 48 hours after a terror attack killed 22 people and injured many more at Manchester Arena, the club’s fans, players and staff stood unbowed in Stockholm.
Football seems trivial at a time of such pain but United embraced the spirit shown in spades by the city they represent, with Jose Mourinho’s men winning the Europa League as goals from Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan secured a 2-0 triumph against Ajax.
United’s first continental trophy in nine years brings with it the welcome boon of Champions League qualification after a disappointing Premier League campaign, but more crucially a cathartic, if temporary, release for some.
And speaking to BT Sport, Pogba said his side could not be criticised now.
“We did it. We are very proud. Nobody can talk. They said we had a bad season but we have three trophies (including Community Shield),” said Pogba.
“The start was important and after the goals we controlled the game. Great performance from everybody in the team.
“These things (Manchester attack) are terrible all over the world, in London and in Paris. We went out focused to win and we won for Manchester and the country.”
United midfielder Juan Mata told BT Sport: “We have won a trophy the club has never won so we are really happy. It means a lot as it is my first European trophy with United and after what happened yesterday it is nice to bring a trophy back for Manchester.
“It has been a really difficult week in the city of Manchester and we are happy to win for all the people that have suffered.”
Ajax coach Peter Bosz said: “I think it was a boring game, no chances from both sides. We were not good enough and congratulations to Manchester United.
“We will learn a lot from this and if we keep this side together we will be stronger next year.”
Davy Klaassen the Ajax captain, added: “Today we were just not good enough. We can do a lot better, and that is annoying. In the end two lucky moments make the difference.”