Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has admitted that facing Ajax Amsterdam in the final of the UEFA Europa League in Stockholm will be difficult for his side.
United will meet Ajax for the fifth time having won two and lost two in their last four meetings.
United survived a late fightback from Celta Vigo at Old Trafford to win 2-1 on aggregate after the second leg match ended 1-1 at Old Trafford.
“We were the best team in the first leg but we never kill, we never score goals related to the chances we have. It was an open game at home, all the pressure on our side,” Mourinho told BT Sports moments after the match.
“They were completely free of responsibility and gave us a very hard match. We suffered until the end and it was open until the last second. The boys gave everything they had. I’m really pleased for them.
“After 14 matches we are in the final. If we win the Europa League I am more than happy. It would be amazing.”
He also praised Eric Bailly for his outstanding performance despite being sent off in the encounter.
“I didn’t see the red card incident but Eric Bailly was phenomenal,” Mourinho added. “The game was emotional for everyone. Some kept control better than others.
“Facundo Roncaglia is not new in these situations, Bailly was probably naive.
“We now lose a very important player for the final, and we don’t have many.
“Ajax will be difficult, they are a young team, strong team, they finish the league this weekend and will have 12 days to recover. We have three matches in that time.”
Meanwhile, Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera admitted after the game that they suffered hard to get to the final.
“It was a crazy game. We were better in the first leg and should have had a better result. Tonight we suffered,” Herrera stated in an interview with BT Sport.
“But we are in the final, we have fought hard to get here. You cannot win a semi-final easily, or be calm. We are in the final, that’s what counts.
“We have played a lot of games. We know that in the league it is almost impossible to qualify for the Champions League so we will give it our all.”