Paul Pogba: We went out focused to win and we won for Manchester and the country

Manchester United did what everyone, well not everyone, but you know what I mean, wanted them to do on Wednesday evening in Stockholm, they beat Ajax 2-0 to lift the UEFA Europa League – the only major honour United have not won in their amazing trophy-laden history. It was not the best European final the club have been involved in, especially with what happened in Manchester on Monday evening, which deflated the spirits from the evening, and most of the week. United have qualified for the UEFA Champions League next season too, straight into the group stages, with Liverpool, who finished two places above them in the Premier League, having to go through the play-off round and Arsenal, who just finished above United, having to play in the UEFA Europa League next season, on a Thursday night – something their fans have been mocking all season. At least they will not be knocked out of the Champions League in the round of 16 stage by Bayern Munich next season, that must be a relief.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored eleven goals in all competitions this season, scoring in five matches in the UEFA Europa League all away from Old Trafford, making history for his club. Speaking about his goal, the Armenian said:

“Without them, I couldn’t score many goals. I’m really happy that I scored today in the final because everyone kept saying ‘you’re going to score in the final’. After the last game, when we played against Celta Vigo in the second leg, I was dreaming every day that I would score in the final. So thanks to my team-mates. I’m very happy.”

Paul Pogba, the scorer of the opening goal in Sweden spoke about winning the trophy for Manchester, saying:

“We did it. We are very proud. Nobody can talk. They said we had a bad season but we have three trophies [including the Community Shield]. The start was important and after the goals we controlled the game. It was a great performance from everybody in the team.”

Speaking about the terrible attack in Manchester on Monday night, Pogba said:

“These things 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.”

Juan Mata spoke about the victory, also mentioning the difficult week Manchester has faced, saying:

“It’s massive for us. We had the chance of coming here to win the trophy for the first time and be in the Champions League next season. We’ve done that. We wanted to win this as well for the city of Manchester and we bring the trophy back. We know it was a very difficult week for the city of Manchester and we are happy to win for all of the people that have suffered.”

Ander Herrera was named Man of the Match by BT Sport for his performance against Ajax, he also spoke about winning the cup for his club, also dedicating the win for the city of Manchester, calling for no more attacks and no more deaths, which was a respectful way to end his comment:

“We are very happy but I want to dedicate the trophy to the victims. This is just football but what happened the other day was horrible. We want peace in the world. We are just footballers but we have an audience and I just want to say we should work together for a normal world. This happened in Manchester but everywhere you have to be united to fight for peace and respect. No more attacks and no more deaths please.”

Herrera continued by saying:

“Yesterday morning we were devastated. We were really sad because when you think about life and football, you have no voice. It was difficult to train but the manager told us the only thing we could do was to win it for them, and that’s what we’ve done. It’s just a football game, just a trophy, but if we can support them with this just one percent, it’s enough for us.”

The Spanish midfielder also reflected on the season as a whole, suggesting they could not talk about it unless they ended with this trophy being raised in the Swedish capital, which was what United did on the night, beating Ajax 2-0. Herrera said:

“It was the game of the season because we couldn’t talk about a good season if we didn’t win it. We can now talk about a great season because we have three trophies and are in the Champions League next season.”

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copyright: JW

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