Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Manchester United’s Europa League victory gave the city a boost just two days after a devastating suicide bomb attack left 22 dead and dozens injured, claimed legendary former manager Alex Ferguson.
United beat Dutch side Ajax 2-0 in Sweden — goals by Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan sealing an emotional win and a place in the Champions League next season — to deliver some joy to the city that saw pop concert goers as young as eight killed by the blast.
Ferguson, who managed United through a golden era from 1986 to 2013 which saw them win the Champions League twice among many other trophies, told Sky Sports that Manchester was a resilient city.
“First of all Manchester is a working class city and it has fantastic people there,” said the 75-year-old Scot, who began his working life in the Glasgow shipyards.
“They went through some difficult times in the past, they will get together because they’ve got a working class ethic about them and there’s a great unity there in the city.
“I think United gave the city a lift and I think that was what it was about. We’re all proud of them, it was a great achievement.”
The trophy is not the only lift the club gave the city as United and Manchester City pledged £1 million ($1.3m, 1.2m euros) on Thursday to an emergency fund set up for the victims and their families.