Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani’s brace helped United thump Roma 6 – 2. Fernandes gave United a perfect start in their semi-final with Italian side Roma when he swept home Cavani’s first-time lay-off. Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani both scored twice as Manchester United came from behind to take a major step towards sealing a place in next month’s Europa League final.
Paul Pogba’s handball allowed Lorenzo Pellegrini to equalise before the Roma skipper’s pass allowed former Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko to score his sixth goal in five Old Trafford appearances to turn the tie on its head by half-time.
But United rallied after the break. Cavani levelled with a superb first-time effort before tapping the hosts back in front when substitute keeper Antonio Mirante pushed Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s angled shot into his path.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men were in no mood to let their advantage slip a second time, although it took a fortunate penalty for what seemed to be an innocuous Chris Smalling tackle on Cavani to give Fernandes the chance add a fourth from the spot.
Pogba then powered home a precise header from Fernandes’ cross before Greenwood ran on to Cavani’s pass and drove home United’s sixth.
If there is one doubt over United’s ability to lift their first silverware under Solskjaer in Poland next month, it comes from the goals they conceded. There has been a long-standing feeling that the bare statistics around United’s defence do not portray a true picture of their abilities.
They had conceded just one goal in six Europa League knockout ties prior to this evening – but it cannot be forgotten one of those that landed them in the competition in the first place was the ridiculous non-marking of Demba Ba during the shock Champions League defeat by Istanbul Basaksehir.
There was nothing on that scale – but in the modern era, Pogba was never going to get away with the ball hitting an outstretched, raised arm as he slid in to tackle Rick Karsdorp.
And the way Pellegrini was allowed so much space to drift into before supplying the low cross that invited Dzeko’s finish highlighted a total lack of awareness on Fred’s part.
Having let Pellegrini run free to devastating effect once, United should not have allowed it again after the break. They were fortunate the Roma skipper elected to pass rather than shoot from inside the box, just as David de Gea got lucky when the rebound flew to safety when he cannoned a clearance downfield straight into Dzeko, who was on his own on the edge of the area.
In the end though, the Italians simply did not have the quality needed to get a result that would give them a chance in next week’s return, although they were hardly helped by having to make three injury-related substitutions before half-time.
Manchester United’s next game is in the Premier League against Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday, 2 May (16:30 BST).
Source – BBC News
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