United players dedicate Europa League success to victims of Manchester attack

United players dedicate Europa League success to victims of Manchester attack

Manchester United players dedicated their Europa League success to the victims of Monday's terror attack.

Two days after a suicide bomber killed 22 people following an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena, United's fans, players and staff stood unbowed in Stockholm.

Goals from Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan secured a 2-0 win against Dutch side Ajax and the club's first continental trophy in nine years.

After receiving the trophy and the adulation of the club's fans inside the Friends Arena, man of the match Ander Herrera delivered a heartfelt tribute to those who were affected by the attack.

He said: "I am happy but I want to dedicate this to the victims. This is just football but what happened two day ago was horrible.

"We want peace in the world - a normal world with respect. We are just football players but we have an audience so we want to work together for a normal world.

"This happened in Manchester but everywhere we need to have a united world to fight for peace and no more attacks and deaths please.

"Yesterday morning we were devastated. We were really, really sad because you think of life and football - you have no choice.

"It was difficult to train yesterday but the manager told us the only thing we could do is win this for them and that is what we have done.

"It is just a football game and a trophy but if we can help and support with this just one per cent it is enough for us."

Former United midfielder David Beckham posted on Instagram: "Tonight was more important than sport... Yes a big night for Manchester United but an even bigger night for the city and for our country .... At a time when we are grieving for the families that have lost loved ones we have a sport that has bought a little happiness at a difficult time... We pray for peace".

Pogba told BT Sport: "We know that things like this are very sad, all over the world: in Manchester, in London and in Paris, too. We had to focus because it was a very important game and we won for them and for the country.

"We played for England, we played for Manchester, and we played for the people who died."

Midfielder Juan Mata added: "It was a very difficult week for a lot of us and for the city of Manchester and we tried to win for all the people who have suffered. This trophy is for them."

Sporting rivalries were put to one side as Manchester City sent out a full-time tweet of a message saying "#ACityUnited", with 'City' written in light blue and 'United' in red, while Greater Manchester metro mayor Andy Burnham wrote on Twitter: "Manchester United. Tonight more than ever."

Several of the players shared a picture from the changing room of the team holding a banner that read 'Manchester - A City United #PrayForManchester'.

Goalscorer Pogba also dedicated the win to the city.

He told BT Sport: "We know that things like this are very sad, all over the world: in Manchester, in London and in Paris, too. We had to focus because it was a very important game and we won for them and for the country.

"We played for England, we played for Manchester, and we played for the people who died."

Midfielder Juan Mata added: "Especially after what happened we wanted to win this and we'll bring the trophy back.

"It was a very difficult week for a lot of us and for the city of Manchester and we tried to win for all the people who have suffered. This trophy is for them."

Sporting rivalries were put to one side as Manchester City sent out a full-time tweet of a message saying "#ACityUnited", with 'City' written in light blue and 'United' in red, while Greater Manchester metro mayor Andy Burnham wrote on Twitter: "Manchester United. Tonight more than ever."

Several of the players shared a picture from the changing room of the team holding a banner that read 'Manchester - A City United #PrayForManchester'.

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