Manchester United created a sparkling second-half fightback to place one foot in the Europa League final with an exciting 6-2 semi-final first-leg triumph over Roma at Old Trafford.
United’s semi-final result under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looked set to proceed when Lorenzo Pellegrini’s penalty and Edin Dzeko’s 6th Old Trafford goal offset Bruno Fernandes’ splendid opener to hand Roma two away goals before half-time.
Manchester United were stunned and out of ideas however bounced back control with an overwhelming attacking show as Edinson Cavani’s twofold, Fernandes’ second from the penalty spot, Paul Pogba’s header and Mason Greenwood’s 6th saw them score five unanswered goals.
Roma, who were constrained into three replacements before the half because of injury, became wearier as time passed and were lucky to get away from Old Trafford without conceding seven as they did in 2007, however that will come as little comfort to Paulo Fonseca’s side as their expectations of arriving at the final were successfully finished.
Roma lost midfielder Jordan Veretout to injury inside five minutes and, after four minutes, United grabbed the opportunity with an advancement goal which overflowed class and quality.
Pogba skipped around two Roma challenges prior to feeding the ball up to Cavani who, with his back to goal, delivered Fernandes with a first-time pass which the Portuguese lifted carefully and devastatingly over on-surging goalkeeper Pau Lopez.
United’s ideal beginning kept going scarcely five minutes, with Pogba brutally punished for handball while sliding in to obstruct Rick Karsdorp’s cross. The Frenchman avoided the ball onto his arm at closeness, yet the ref stayed with his choice, giving Roma skipper Pellegrini the opportunity to score an away goal, which he took vehemently.
Roma’s injury issue deteriorated on 25 minutes as goalkeeper Pau Lopez was constrained off with a speculated disjoined shoulder seconds subsequent to repelling Pobga’s drive from the edge of the container. Veteran 37-year-old plug Antonio Mirante fell off the seat, yet Roma’s interests before long went to delight as they assumed responsibility for the tie.
The vivacious Leonardo Spinazzola made advances down the left flank, moved the ball inside to previous United forward Henrikh Mkhitaryan who delivered Pellegrini in behind, and he squared for Dzeko to pack in his standard Old Trafford goal.
Spinazzola turned into the third Roma player constrained off through injury, a mishap which didn’t hope to have crashed the Italians until the stroke of half-time, when Cavani caught focus back Ibanez’s unpredictable pass, yet the Uruguayan was ruined by Mirante in goal before Amadou Diawara impeded his subsequent shot.
United reappeared from the break revitalized and required only three minutes to draw level, with Cavani wrapping a clinical exertion into the top corner of the Roma goal having held up play and traded passes with Fernandes.
The goal set apart the beginning of a time of mastery from Solskjaer’s side, with Cavani reestablishing United’s lead with a tap-in after Roma goalkeeper Mirante spilled Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s drive.
Three got four on 71 minutes when previous United protector Chris Smalling was punished for a late foul on Cavani around there, and Fernandes unquestionably converted his twentieth penalty in United colours.
With Roma out on their feet, Pogba looked in a header from Fernandes’ inch-perfect cross and there was still an ideal opportunity for substitute Greenwood to get in on the demonstration with a redirected 6th which guaranteed a once-encouraging night for Roma finished with more Old Trafford wretchedness and left United near the precarious edge of another Europa League final.
You could simply envision in your mind how upbeat a full Old Trafford would have been at that time however even with 75,000 void seats, you could in any case feel power among the United squad.
In that capacity, despite the fact that there wasn’t to be a seventh goal, the delight among Solskjaer’s men was unmistakable in what looks, certainly, to be the finish of their semi-final hoodoo under the Norwegian.
After two seasons of dissatisfaction across the Europa League, Carabao Cup and FA Cup, it seems to have taken an overwhelming presentation over the Italian giants to set them up for the final.