Alex Ferguson on the pitch before the Europa League final in Stockholm. Photo: Phil Noble, Reuters

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 (about R16.72 million) on Thursday to an emergency fund set up for the victims and their families.

AFP

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