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The gamble had to pay off for Jose Mourinho and it did, or rather it has so far. The Manchester United manager had prioritized the Europa League over a top-four finish in the Premier League, and for someone who has made pragmatism an art form to roll the dice in such an all-or-nothing manner is out of character.

It could not have been closer, though. An unconvincing United drew 1-1 with Celta Vigo in the semifinal second leg at Old Trafford to win through 2-1 on aggregate. United’s goal was scored by Marouane Fellaini, ironically brought to the club by David Moyes who was roundly criticized for wasting £30 million on the Belgium international.

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