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Manchester United to observe minute of silence at Europa League final in wake of terrorist attack

Uefa confirm the pop act booked to open the show has been cancelled due to the atrocity at the Manchester Arena

Manchester United  will observe a minute’s silence at the Europa League final – after a shortened opening ceremony – following the terrorist attack in Manchester.

As a mark of respect, Uefa have confirmed that the celebrations in Stockholm that would have marked the competitions grand finale have been cut back.

Wayne Rooney is captaining Manchester United during a difficult time

Reuters
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Wayne Rooney is captaining Manchester United during a difficult time

Swedish pop act Axwell Ingrosso were due to perform at the game but the DJ set has now been axed to reflect the more sombre mood around the fixture.

Jose Mourinho‘s men face the Dutch giants Ajax just days after 22 innocent people were killed by a suicide bomber at the Manchester Arena.

United are eyeing a first European title since they won the Champions League in 2008, but the recent terror attack has left the city in mourning.

Captain Wayne Rooney led a minute’s silence in memory of the victims in training before their flight to Sweden, while the club cancelled a pre-match press conference.

The Manchester United squad is dealing with off-field emotions ahead of their huge game

Getty Images
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The Manchester United squad is dealing with off-field emotions ahead of their huge game

Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard are both Manchester lads who will observe minute’s silence

PA:Press Association
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Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard are both Manchester lads who will observe minute’s silence
PM Theresa May sends prayers to family and friends affected by terror attack in Manchester by Salman Abedi

The sombre United squad arrived in Sweden after a short flight from grieving Manchester

EPA
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The sombre United squad arrived in Sweden after a short flight from grieving Manchester

Jose Mourinho did not hold a pre-match press conference as a mark of respect

Getty Images
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Jose Mourinho did not hold a pre-match press conference as a mark of respect

Three of United's injured players were at the side of the pitch in Sweden on crutches

Getty Images
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Three of United's injured players were at the side of the pitch in Sweden on crutches

Speaking of the attack, Mourinho said: “We’re all very sad about the tragic events last night; we can’t take out of our minds and hearts the victims and their families.”

Armed Swedish police will protect the squad at the Friends Arena, while anti-terror cops have built an impenetrable ring of steel around the stadium.

Man Utd’s players observe a moment of silence for the victims of bomb attack at Manchester’s Arndale Centre