Manchester United beat Roma 6-2 at Old Trafford in the first game of the Europa League semi-finals. Bruno Fernandes made a joint debut in the semi-finals with Italy’s team Roma when they played Edinson Cavani’s first shot at home. Manchester United took a major step to advance to the Europa League final next month as Fernandes and Cavani both scored twice against Roma.
Paul Pogba’s handball allowed Lorenzo Pellegrini to equalize before Roma’s skipper stepped in, with former Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko rotating the tie at Old Trafford to score his sixth goal in five sixes.
But United gathered after the break. Cavani equalized with a superb effort for the first time before reaching the hosts again when substitute goalkeeper Antonio Mirante pushed him into his flanking shot from Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Thus far, Edinson Cavani has scored 10 goals in 13 matches against Roma
Ole Gunnar Sölskjaer’s men were not willing to let their advantage slip for the second time, although a harmless Chris Smalling attack on Cavani required a lucky penalty that would give Fernandes the chance to connect. Pogba made an accurate header from Fernandes’ cross before Greenwood ran to Cavani.
If there is any doubt about the combined ability to lift the first silver in Poland next month under Sölskjaer, it comes from the goals he has conceded. It has long been felt that the empty statistics surrounding the joint defense do not show the true picture of their capabilities. Pogba would never avoid hitting the ball with an outstretched, raised hand as he slipped to pass to Rick Karsdorp.
And the way so much space was available before Pellegrini was granted the low cross that inviting the completion of Dzeko revealed a total lack of awareness on Fred’s part.
Once Pellegrini was freed from the devastating effect, United should not have allowed him again after the break. They were lucky that the Roma captain preferred to pass rather than shoot from inside the box, just as David de Gea was lucky when recovery flew safely when he entered Dzeko, who was on the edge of the area.
In the end, however, the Italians simply did not have the quality to achieve a result that would give them a chance to return next week, although they were hardly helped to make three injury-related replacements before the stagnation.
Manchester United‘s next match is in the Premier League against Liverpool at Old Trafford on 2 May at 9 pm IST.
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