Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that Jose Mourinho knows how to win a trophy.
His first season at Manchester United may not have set the world alight, but the Special One has closed the campaign in style. Victory in the Europa League secures both silverware and, crucially, a place in the Champions League.
Therefore, for all the frustration of the preceding months, Mourinho and United can enter the summer on a high note.
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Ajax proved the unlucky party in a cagey climax to Europe’s second final. The Dutch side never showed their true potential and failed to muster any notable chances against the United goal.
Strikes from Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan proved the difference in a 2-0 win for the English side. It perhaps proves poignant that the two goal scorers were players brought in Mourinho.
It not only proved an incredible show of nerve in the face of immeasurable pressure but a performance worthily representing a city, hurting after a troubled week.
Consequently, it’s not difficult to establish that the often trivial Europa League final was, in 2017, flooded with emotion. You only have to look at Mourinho himself for proof of that.
All season long the Portuguese has been subdued and smiles from the United boss were few and far between. Even after League Cup glory at Wembley in February, he was conscious to show very little emotion.
This was far from the case tonight and United fans are absolutely loving it.
When the final whistle sounded, the 54-year-old hugged his son and so passionately that the pair even fell to the pitch. The moment of pure ecstasy can be seen below:
That wasn’t it though as Mourinho marched towards the United fans, raising his index finger so symbolise that both him and his side were number one. Check it out:
He showed about as much emotion in 10 seconds as he had in the previous 10 months. That being, the importance of the match perhaps serves as justification.
Some of the best reaction can be seen here:
Had the Red Devils suffered defeat in Stockholm, it would have greatly dampened an incredibly mixed season. Yet Mourinho pulled it off and three trophies goes a long way to detracting from a sixth place finish.
United are back in the Champions League, as well and that achievement should not be underestimated. Besides, it’s only the second time the club has achieved such a feat since Sir Alex Ferguson hung up his hairdryer.
Therefore, it goes a long way to returning the club to its previous glory and given Mourinho’s second-season record, league success seems inevitable.
A sickening amount of home draws and erratic results – yes, but United seem on course to recovery with a massive win and Mourinho’s celebrations are testament to the victory’s importance. Soak it in United fans.
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