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Guts and Glory – A look back at Manchester United’s Europa League triumph of 2017

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United last won the tournament in 2017

Jose Mourinho leads Manchester United to Europa League glory in 2017

24th May marks the third anniversary of Manchester United winning the Europa League in Solna against Ajax.

Not only was it our first European trophy since the UEFA Champions League triumph in 2008, but it also ensured we returned to the top table of European football.

New manager Jose Mourinho kept his record of winning a trophy in his first full season in charge as he followed up on the league cup that we had won earlier that year.

Manchester United won the Europa League in 2017
Pogba and Mkhitaryan scored on the night

Facing a young and dynamic Ajax side, two summer signings came to the fore for United. Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were the heroes on the night as we won the game 2-0.

The game also saw Ander Herrera produce one of his best performances in a United shirt as he bossed the midfield. The Spaniard was recognized for his contributions with the man of the match trophy.

It was also one of Mourinho’s finest nights as United boss. The Portuguese successfully nullified the Dutch attack, permitting them just three shots on target all night.

Having finished 5th in the Premier League, Champions League qualification hinged on this one match.

Ander Herrera was the man of the match
Ander Herrera was the man of the match

Unlike arch-rivals Liverpool who fell short the previous year, United showed maturity, and were clinical with their chances.

The Red Devils became the first English club to qualify for the Champions League by winning the Europa League. Another distinction for our illustrious club.

The run-up to the final saw us defeat teams from seven countries including the likes of Anderlecht and Celta Vigo.

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The match represented a high point for a number of players and also Mourinho. Despite how we failed to build on it, that night in Sweden will stay etched in fans’ memories for years to come.

Here’s hoping Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gives us more in the coming years.