Manchester United 6-2 Roma: Red Devils recover to thump Italian side in Europa League
Reds take big step towards Europa League final
In-form Fernandes gets United firing
Pogba shows his influence
Manchester United ran riot against Roma once again as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s comeback kings triumphed 6-2 and took a giant stride towards the Europa League final.
Having fallen short in four semi-finals in the last two seasons, the Red Devils were looking to emphasise their progress by reaching their first final under the 1999 treble hero.
United could not have wished for a better start with a goal of quality opening up the Italians after just nine minutes.
The manager’s decision to bring in Pogba and Cavani among his three changes from their draw at Leeds at the weekend quickly paid off. The Frenchman received a ball from Luke Shaw and spun away from his marker, slipped past another, then slid a ball to the Uruguayan striker whose touch on to Fernandes was perfect. The Portuguese star’s finish matches the sublime build-up as he chipped goalkeeper Pau Lopez to make it 1-0.
But Pogba’s joy at his part in that excellent opener turned to misery, four minutes later, as he slid in to block Rick Karsdorp’s cross and the ball hit his hand. After conferring with his assistant, referee Carlos Del Cerro Grande awarded a penalty to Roma and Lorenzo Pellegrini smashed the equaliser past David De Gea from the spot.
United gathered with two efforts by Fernandes not worrying Roma, but a Pogba piledriver forced a save from Lopez to highlight the fact that the Reds had got over the shock of the leveller. Pau Lopez was hurt pulling off the save and had to be substituted to add to Roma’s earlier loss of Jordan Veretout after just three minutes.
The interruption failed to disturb the visitors who took the lead after 33 minutes. The attack features Reds old-boy Henrikh Mkhitaryan who outsmarted United’s defence with a sharp pass to Pellegrini. His cross was tapped in by one-time Manchester City hitman Edin Dzeko.
SECOND HALF – UNITED TURN THE SCREW
It may have been a disappointing ending to the first half for Cavani but he made up for it within three minutes of the restart, as he fired in the equaliser.
Fed by a lovely Fernandes ball, Cavani rifled in an unstoppable shot to make it 2-2 after 48 minutes. It was mounting into a really chaotic night for the no.7 as he then scooped a great opportunity over the bar at the Stretford End from a Shaw cross.
And it was that man Cavani who did it again, after 64 minutes, he tapped his team back in front to make it 3-2 when Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s shot was parried into his path by substitute keeper Antonio Mirante.
United were on a roll and extended the lead after 71 minutes. The referee and a VAR check confirmed a penalty to the Reds for a Smalling foul on Cavani, close to the edge of the pitch.
Fernandes stepped up to net his second of the night, firing home from the spot as he normally does.
Old Trafford would have been shaking under normal circumstances as the Reds turned the screw and Pogba headed in their fifth after 75 minutes from a second assist from Fernandes to add to his two goals, before Greenwood completed rout by running on to a lovely ball by Cavani and beating Mirante for number six.