Goals in each half from Paul Pogba and Henrik Mkhitaryan settled an encounter billed as a battle between United’s savvy pragmatists and Ajax’s exuberant young tyros.
The win came as Manchester continued to reel from Monday night’s terrorist attack in which 22 people died and more than 50 were injured.
Just a few hours after the United players dedicated their triumph to the victims, United and Manchester City joined forces to donate 1.2 million euros to a relief fund set up to assist victims of the attack at Manchester Arena.
“The Red and Blue halves of Manchester have combined to support the city they have each called home for more than a 120 years and which has been profoundly affected by the tragic events witnessed on Monday,” United and City said in a rare joint statement.
“We have all been humbled by the strength and solidarity shown by the people of Manchester in the days since the attack,” City chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak said. “The hope of both our clubs is that our donation will go some small way to alleviate the daunting challenges faced by those directly affected and that our acting together will serve as a symbol to the world of the unbreakable strength of the spirit of Manchester.”
Minute’s silence at Europa League final
United held a minute’s silence and wore black armbands during the Europa League final.
“United and City are right at the heart of our local communities in Manchester and it is right that we present a unified response to this tragedy,” United’s executive chairman, Ed Woodward, said. “The money will help, of course, but the work of the two clubs and their respective foundation and community scheme can build on the fantastic spirit that Mancunians have shown in the immediate aftermath.”
The victory for United means that both Manchester clubs will compete in next season’s Uefa Champions League. City obtained a place in the group stages of the competition by finishing third in the Premier League behind champions Chelsea and second placed Tottenham Hotspur.
United ended the Premier League campaign in sixth place – well outside the berths for the Champions League – but will play in European club football’s most prestigious tournament by dint of winning the Europa League which follows the Community Shield and League Cup into the Old Trafford trophy cabinet this season.
Mourinho, who took over last July from Louis van Gaal, has described his first term at United as his most difficult season as a manager. But after the final whistle at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, he raised four fingers to the United fans to signify each of the four major European titles he has now won.
The 54-year-old former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager said he would take a short break before returning to orchestrate the 2017/2018 Premier League campaign. “Ed Woodward has my list, what I want, what I would like,” Mourinho said. “So now it’s up to him and the owners.”