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Standing United: Players and fans pay tribute to Manchester

Adrian Rutherford reports on an emotional night in Stockholm

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Northern Ireland fans at the big game

Northern Ireland fans at the big game

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Respect: Manchester United players stand together for the minute's silence

Respect: Manchester United players stand together for the minute's silence

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This was a night when Manchester - and beyond - truly was united.

For a moment before an emotionally-charged Europa League final, players and fans from both teams stood as one, casting aside sporting tribalism to poignantly remember the dead of Monday's terror outrage.

The pre-match scenes here at the aptly-named Friends Arena were a powerful show of defiance and dissent in the face of sheer evil.

After, when the trophy had been lifted by Manchester United's victorious team, albeit with a touch of hesitation, it felt like a measure of healing, however small, and however difficult the days that lie ahead may still be.

Last night's final came less than 48 hours after a suicide bomber unleashed a blast of terror in a crowded concert hall in the city.

At first, the simple reaction was to say the game no longer mattered. It was an understandable sentiment.

But then it became more and more obvious that the opposite was true. Rather than give in to terror, the game became a beacon of solidarity and defiance, an opportunity to show steely determination in the face of evil.

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United's victory, as emotional as it was, reinforced that feeling.

For the many who had travelled from Manchester's heart of darkness, it was a strange experience.

The traditional pre-game get-togethers and singalongs weren't quite as boisterous. The festivities were muted. Nobody quite knew how to react. Who would?

Inside the stadium, as kick-off approached, the mood lifted, driven by the sea of noisy, flag-bearing Manchester United fans.

Uefa had ordered a minute's silence, politely telling the Swedish DJs due to perform at the final ceremony they were no longer required.

The stillness soon broke into applause - well-intentioned, if somewhat clumsy. It culminated with a loud shout of "Manchester, Manchester" from the United end. The black armbands worn by United's players were a sad reminder of the tragic backdrop hanging over this game.

Ahead of kick-off, fans had arrived with banners carrying messages of sorrow and solidarity.

One read: 'Manchester - a City United #prayformanchester', a reference to the city's two clubs, drawn together in this time of great heartache.

Banks of armed police watched carefully, amid heavy steel barricades around the stadium. If it was difficult for fans to gauge the mood then it was more so for players, carrying a city's trauma on to a football pitch.

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Saffie Roussos (8) and Georgina Callander (18) who died in the Manchester Arena terror attack

Saffie Roussos (8) and Georgina Callander (18) who died in the Manchester Arena terror attack

People attend a multi-faith vigil in St Ann's Square, Manchester, to remember the victims of the Manchester terror attack.

People attend a multi-faith vigil in St Ann's Square, Manchester, to remember the victims of the Manchester terror attack.

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Muriel Billington, 85 and her daughters (names not given) during a vigil at St Ann's Square in Manchester, after a suicide bomber killed 22 people leaving a pop concert at the Manchester Arena on Monday night.

Muriel Billington, 85 and her daughters (names not given) during a vigil at St Ann's Square in Manchester, after a suicide bomber killed 22 people leaving a pop concert at the Manchester Arena on Monday night.

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Belfast City Hall illuminated in the colours of Union flag after the Manchester concert bomb attack. Pic: David Young/PA Wire

Belfast City Hall illuminated in the colours of Union flag after the Manchester concert bomb attack. Pic: David Young/PA Wire

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A woman looks at flowers in St. Ann's Square, close to the Manchester Arena where a suicide bomber killed 22 people leaving a pop concert at the venue on Monday night.

A woman looks at flowers in St. Ann's Square, close to the Manchester Arena where a suicide bomber killed 22 people leaving a pop concert at the venue on Monday night.

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A silent vigil took place in Belfast city centre in memory of the victims of the bomb attack in Manchester. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

A silent vigil took place in Belfast city centre in memory of the victims of the bomb attack in Manchester. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

Pacemaker Press Belfast 23-05-2017:  A silent vigil took place in Belfast city centre tonight in memory of the victims of last night's bomb attack in Manchester.
Picture By: Arthur Allison.

Pacemaker Press Belfast 23-05-2017: A silent vigil took place in Belfast city centre tonight in memory of the victims of last night's bomb attack in Manchester. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

Pacemaker Press Belfast 23-05-2017:  A silent vigil took place in Belfast city centre tonight in memory of the victims of last night's bomb attack in Manchester.
Picture By: Arthur Allison.

Pacemaker Press Belfast 23-05-2017: A silent vigil took place in Belfast city centre tonight in memory of the victims of last night's bomb attack in Manchester. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

Some of the people who gathered at the War memorial in Derry to express their solidarity with people of Manchester. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 23.05.17

Some of the people who gathered at the War memorial in Derry to express their solidarity with people of Manchester. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 23.05.17

Some of the people who gathered at the War memorial in Derry to express their solidarity with people of Manchester. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 23.05.17

Some of the people who gathered at the War memorial in Derry to express their solidarity with people of Manchester. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 23.05.17

Some of the people who gathered at the War memorial in Derry to express their solidarity with people of Manchester. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 23.05.17

Some of the people who gathered at the War memorial in Derry to express their solidarity with people of Manchester. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 23.05.17

People gather for a vigil outside Belfast City Hall, after a 23-year-old man was arrested in connection with the Manchester concert bomb attack. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. The attack killed 22 people, including children, and injured dozens more in the worst terrorist incident to hit Britain since the July 7 atrocities. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Michael McHugh/PA Wire

People gather for a vigil outside Belfast City Hall, after a 23-year-old man was arrested in connection with the Manchester concert bomb attack. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. The attack killed 22 people, including children, and injured dozens more in the worst terrorist incident to hit Britain since the July 7 atrocities. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Michael McHugh/PA Wire

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People gather for a vigil outside Belfast City Hall, after a 23-year-old man was arrested in connection with the Manchester concert bomb attack. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. The attack killed 22 people, including children, and injured dozens more in the worst terrorist incident to hit Britain since the July 7 atrocities. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Michael McHugh/PA Wire

People gather for a vigil outside Belfast City Hall, after a 23-year-old man was arrested in connection with the Manchester concert bomb attack. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. The attack killed 22 people, including children, and injured dozens more in the worst terrorist incident to hit Britain since the July 7 atrocities. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Michael McHugh/PA Wire

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People gather for a vigil in Albert Square outside Manchester Town Hall in Manchester after attack at concert. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

People gather for a vigil in Albert Square outside Manchester Town Hall in Manchester after attack at concert. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

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Members of the public gather to attend a candlelit vigil, to honour the victims of Monday evening's terror attack, at Albert Square on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Members of the public gather to attend a candlelit vigil, to honour the victims of Monday evening's terror attack, at Albert Square on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

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People from Manchester Sikh Community carry "I love MCR" banners as they arrive to attend a vigil in Albert Square in Manchester, northwest England on May 23, 2017, in solidarity with those killed an injured in the May 22 terror attack at the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena.
Twenty two people have been killed and dozens injured in Britain's deadliest terror attack in over a decade after a suspected suicide bomber targeted fans leaving a concert of US singer Ariana Grande in Manchester. British police on Tuesday named the suspected attacker behind the Manchester concert bombing as Salman Abedi, but declined to give any further details. / AFP PHOTO / Ben STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

People from Manchester Sikh Community carry "I love MCR" banners as they arrive to attend a vigil in Albert Square in Manchester, northwest England on May 23, 2017, in solidarity with those killed an injured in the May 22 terror attack at the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena. Twenty two people have been killed and dozens injured in Britain's deadliest terror attack in over a decade after a suspected suicide bomber targeted fans leaving a concert of US singer Ariana Grande in Manchester. British police on Tuesday named the suspected attacker behind the Manchester concert bombing as Salman Abedi, but declined to give any further details. / AFP PHOTO / Ben STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

A couple embrace under a billboard in Manchester city centre, Tuesday May 23, 2017, the day after the suicide attack at an Ariana Grande concert that left 22 people dead as it ended on Monday night. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

A couple embrace under a billboard in Manchester city centre, Tuesday May 23, 2017, the day after the suicide attack at an Ariana Grande concert that left 22 people dead as it ended on Monday night. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

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BERLIN, GERMANY - MAY 23: Flowers lay in shape of a heart in front of British Embassy on May 23, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. An explosion occurred at Manchester Arena as concert goers were leaving the venue after Ariana Grande had performed. Greater Manchester Police are treating the explosion as a terrorist attack and have confirmed 22 fatalities and 59 injured.  (Photo by Steffi Loos/Getty Images)

BERLIN, GERMANY - MAY 23: Flowers lay in shape of a heart in front of British Embassy on May 23, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. An explosion occurred at Manchester Arena as concert goers were leaving the venue after Ariana Grande had performed. Greater Manchester Police are treating the explosion as a terrorist attack and have confirmed 22 fatalities and 59 injured. (Photo by Steffi Loos/Getty Images)

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Flowers are left in St Ann's Square, Manchester, the day after a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including children, as an explosion tore through fans leaving a pop concert in Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Flowers are left in St Ann's Square, Manchester, the day after a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including children, as an explosion tore through fans leaving a pop concert in Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

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Retail staff hug each other after being evacuated from the Arndale Centre shopping mall in Manchester, northwest England on May 23

Retail staff hug each other after being evacuated from the Arndale Centre shopping mall in Manchester, northwest England on May 23

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Saffie Rose Roussos, (8) was killed in the attack. Collect/PA Wire

Saffie Rose Roussos, (8) was killed in the attack. Collect/PA Wire

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First victim to be named - Georgina Callander. She is pictured with Ariana Grande in 2015. Pic: Instagram Georgina.Bethany

First victim to be named - Georgina Callander. She is pictured with Ariana Grande in 2015. Pic: Instagram Georgina.Bethany

Tributes left outside St Ann's Church in Manchester, the morning after a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including children, as an explosion tore through fans leaving a pop concert, at Manchester Arena.

Tributes left outside St Ann's Church in Manchester, the morning after a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including children, as an explosion tore through fans leaving a pop concert, at Manchester Arena.

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Tributes left outside St Ann's Church in Manchester, the morning after a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including children, as an explosion tore through fans leaving a pop concert, at Manchester Arena.

Tributes left outside St Ann's Church in Manchester, the morning after a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including children, as an explosion tore through fans leaving a pop concert, at Manchester Arena.

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Police evacuated the Arndale Centre on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England.

Police evacuated the Arndale Centre on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England.

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A  girl wearing a t-shirt of US singer Ariana Grande carrying balloons from the Ariana Grande concert

A girl wearing a t-shirt of US singer Ariana Grande carrying balloons from the Ariana Grande concert

AFP/Getty Images

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 23:  Armed police patrol the Arndale Shopping Centre after the terrorist attack,  May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. An explosion occurred at Manchester Arena as concert goers were leaving the venue after Ariana Grande had performed. Greater Manchester Police are treating the explosion as a terrorist attack and have confirmed 22 fatalities and 59 injured.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 23: Armed police patrol the Arndale Shopping Centre after the terrorist attack, May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. An explosion occurred at Manchester Arena as concert goers were leaving the venue after Ariana Grande had performed. Greater Manchester Police are treating the explosion as a terrorist attack and have confirmed 22 fatalities and 59 injured. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

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People look out of the windows of a building opposite the Arndale Centre as the shopping mall is evacuated in Manchester, northwest England on May 23, 2017. 
Twenty two people have been killed and dozens injured in Britain's deadliest terror attack in over a decade after a suspected suicide bomber targeted fans leaving a concert of US singer Ariana Grande in Manchester. / AFP PHOTO / Ben STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

People look out of the windows of a building opposite the Arndale Centre as the shopping mall is evacuated in Manchester, northwest England on May 23, 2017. Twenty two people have been killed and dozens injured in Britain's deadliest terror attack in over a decade after a suspected suicide bomber targeted fans leaving a concert of US singer Ariana Grande in Manchester. / AFP PHOTO / Ben STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney stands alongside team-mates for a minute silence in memory of the victims of the Manchester terror attack during the final training session at the AON Training Complex in Carrington, ahead of the Europa League Final against Ajax.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney stands alongside team-mates for a minute silence in memory of the victims of the Manchester terror attack during the final training session at the AON Training Complex in Carrington, ahead of the Europa League Final against Ajax.

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Prime Minister Theresa May addresses the media in Downing Street, London, after a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including children, as an explosion tore through fans leaving a pop concert in Manchester.

Prime Minister Theresa May addresses the media in Downing Street, London, after a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including children, as an explosion tore through fans leaving a pop concert in Manchester.

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A woman wearing a T-shirt of US singer Ariana Grande near the Manchester Arena in Manchester

A woman wearing a T-shirt of US singer Ariana Grande near the Manchester Arena in Manchester

AFP/Getty Images

Ariana Grande concert attendees leave the Park Inn Hotel where they were given refuge after last nights explosion at Manchester Arena on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England.

Ariana Grande concert attendees leave the Park Inn Hotel where they were given refuge after last nights explosion at Manchester Arena on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England.

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Armed police close to the Manchester Arena, the morning after a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including children, as an explosion tore through fans leaving a pop concert in Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Armed police close to the Manchester Arena, the morning after a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including children, as an explosion tore through fans leaving a pop concert in Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

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Screen grabbed image taken from the Twitter feed of Ariana Grande after a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including children, as an explosion tore through fans leaving her pop concert in Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. Some 59 people were also injured in the blast when the attacker detonated an improvised explosive device at the Manchester Arena. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Ariana Grande/Twitter/PA Wire

NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Screen grabbed image taken from the Twitter feed of Ariana Grande after a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including children, as an explosion tore through fans leaving her pop concert in Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. Some 59 people were also injured in the blast when the attacker detonated an improvised explosive device at the Manchester Arena. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Ariana Grande/Twitter/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

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Mother Amy Trippitt (right) and her daughter Grace, who attended the concert at Manchester Arena last night, leave the Park Inn hotel in the city the morning after a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including children, as an explosion tore through fans leaving the pop concert. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Mother Amy Trippitt (right) and her daughter Grace, who attended the concert at Manchester Arena last night, leave the Park Inn hotel in the city the morning after a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including children, as an explosion tore through fans leaving the pop concert. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

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Mother Amy Trippitt and her daughter Grace, who attended the concert at Manchester Arena last night, leave the Park Inn hotel in the city the morning after a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including children, as an explosion tore through fans leaving the pop concert. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Mother Amy Trippitt and her daughter Grace, who attended the concert at Manchester Arena last night, leave the Park Inn hotel in the city the morning after a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including children, as an explosion tore through fans leaving the pop concert. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

PA

Police close to the Manchester Arena the morning after a terrorist attack at the end of a concert by US star Ariana Grande left 22 dead. PA

Police close to the Manchester Arena the morning after a terrorist attack at the end of a concert by US star Ariana Grande left 22 dead. PA

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Greater Manchester Police chief constable Ian Hopkins speaks to the media in Manchester where he said that the death toll from the Manchester bomb attack has risen to 22 with 59 injured. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Greater Manchester Police chief constable Ian Hopkins speaks to the media in Manchester where he said that the death toll from the Manchester bomb attack has risen to 22 with 59 injured. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

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Police forensic investigators walk along a bridge linking Victoria Station with the Manchester Arena where a suspected terrorist attack at the end of a concert by US star Ariana Grande left 19 dead. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Police forensic investigators walk along a bridge linking Victoria Station with the Manchester Arena where a suspected terrorist attack at the end of a concert by US star Ariana Grande left 19 dead. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

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Fan leaves the Park Inn hotel in central Manchester, England, Tuesday, May 23, 2017. Over a dozen people were killed in an explosion following a Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena late Monday evening. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Fan leaves the Park Inn hotel in central Manchester, England, Tuesday, May 23, 2017. Over a dozen people were killed in an explosion following a Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena late Monday evening. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

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Picture taken with permission from the twitter feed of @Zach_bruce of people running through Manchester Victoria  station after an explosion at Manchester Arena. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: @Zach_bruce/PA Wire

NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Picture taken with permission from the twitter feed of @Zach_bruce of people running through Manchester Victoria station after an explosion at Manchester Arena. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: @Zach_bruce/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

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Emergency services at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Emergency services at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

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Emergency services at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig. [Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire]

Emergency services at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig. [Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire]

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FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2016 file photo, Ariana Grande arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York. Police say there are "a number of fatalities" after reports of an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in northern England on Monday, May 22, 2017.. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2016 file photo, Ariana Grande arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York. Police say there are "a number of fatalities" after reports of an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in northern England on Monday, May 22, 2017.. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

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A fan is comforted as she leaves the Park Inn hotel in central Manchester, England Tuesday May 23 2017. Over a dozen people were killed in an explosion following a Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena late Monday evening. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

A fan is comforted as she leaves the Park Inn hotel in central Manchester, England Tuesday May 23 2017. Over a dozen people were killed in an explosion following a Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena late Monday evening. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

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A fan leaves the Park Inn hotel in central Manchester, Britain, Tuesday, May 23 2017.  An apparent suicide bomber set off an improvised explosive device that killed over a dozen people at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on Monday, Manchester police said Tuesday.  (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

A fan leaves the Park Inn hotel in central Manchester, Britain, Tuesday, May 23 2017. An apparent suicide bomber set off an improvised explosive device that killed over a dozen people at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on Monday, Manchester police said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

AP

Fans leave the Park Inn hotel in central Manchester, England Tuesday May 23 2017.  An apparent suicide bomber set off an improvised explosive device that killed over a dozen people at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on Monday, Manchester police said Tuesday.  (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Fans leave the Park Inn hotel in central Manchester, England Tuesday May 23 2017. An apparent suicide bomber set off an improvised explosive device that killed over a dozen people at the end of an Ariana Grande concert on Monday, Manchester police said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

AP

Armed police (left) at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 22, 2017. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Armed police (left) at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday May 22, 2017. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

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Flowers left close to the Manchester Arena, the morning after a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including children, as an explosion tore through fans leaving a pop concert in Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Flowers left close to the Manchester Arena, the morning after a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including children, as an explosion tore through fans leaving a pop concert in Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday May 23, 2017. See PA story POLICE Explosion. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

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Saffie Roussos (8) and Georgina Callander (18) who died in the Manchester Arena terror attack

Afterwards, they celebrated, fans and players alike, a cathartic release from the anguish of the past 48 hours, a small step on what will undoubtedly be painful days ahead for the people of Manchester.

But, as last night showed, they are not alone.


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