What We Learned: Jose Mourinho masterminds another famous victory in Europe

Absolutely superb tonight. Everything the club, the manager, the players, the fans and the city needed. Not a classic by any stretch of the imagination, and it was a bit easy for my liking, but when the final whistle went you felt the events of the last 12 months were completely forgotten and next season could well herald something much better. Emotions were high, and here is what we learned tonight against Ajax.

Mkhitaryan the man in spite of poor performance

It isn’t the first time Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been sub-par this season and then popped up with a goal. Inconsistent has been the word very much attached to the Armenian this season, and yet you can’t help but be happy when you see him in the team based purely on his ability to steal a goal here and there as he did tonight. He fully deserved to come off, and really should have done at half time, but then that happens and suddenly he becomes the one. His incredible record in Europe this season needs to be built upon all over next season and then we can say United have one hell of a player on their hands.

The midfield won the day

Paul Pogba has been absolutely battered this season, Sky and BT will tell you over and over again how poor he has been and how important the price tag is. You get the same speech from all of them about him. They can’t say that now. A goal in the final and a dominating performance in a big game suddenly silences those that have spouted their rubbish. Ander Herrera was rather quiet tonight, but I have no doubt United would have been well worse off without him in the side. Tonight saw the side of him that wound the opposition up and chipped away at their patience. Finally was Marouane Fellaini. He was Man of the aMtch easily, he has copped a lot of criticism (especially from myself) but has continued to perform and give his absolute all. His effort cannot be doubted at all, and he almost scored a well-deserved goal tonight. You can easily criticise his footballing ability, but that chest is more than enough. Deserves the praise 100%.


The cracks are now well and truly papered over for what has been a rather drab season. United were expected to win the Europa League from the beginning and no matter what the esteem you hold the competition in, doing so is fantastic for the club. The clean sweep of trophies in the club’s history is something to be revered and 2 major honours in his debut season is the perfect start for Jose Mourinho even in spite of one or two teething problems. The pressure is now off. Mourinho will get a second season. Tonight he set up perfectly and showed the world how difficult he has made his team to set up. Tonight can be enjoyed, and his press conference after the game is a big show of this.


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