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Manchester United 6-2 AS Roma: Cavani inspires sensational comeback

Manchester United Roma, Six Sports

Manchester United produced an exhilarating display of attacking football to beat AS Roma 6-2 in the Europa League semi-final first leg.

The visitors held a first half advantage after Lorenzo Pellegrini and Edin Džeko each scored a vital away goal following United’s 9th minute lead via Bruno Fernandes.

However, two second half goals from Edinson Cavani, and one each from Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood sealed yet another comeback for the Red Devils.

This win means that Ole Gunnar Solskjær is on the horizon of his first ever tournament final since he took charge.

MANCHESTER UNITED 6-2 ROMA TEAM NEWS:

Solskjær made three changes to the team that drew with Leeds on Sunday. David De Gea replaced Dean Henderson in goal, Paul Pogba replaced Daniel James on the left wing.

Marcus Rashford shifted to the right wing, while Cavani replaced Greenwood as the lone man up front.

Paulo Fonseca made seven changes from Roma’s defeat to Cagliari last weekend. Bryan Cristante and Roger Ibañez replaced Gianluca Mancini and Federico Fazio in defence. Rick Karsdorp and Leonardo Spinazzola replaced Davide Santon and Bruno Peres as wing-backs.

Jordan Veretout replaced Gonzalo Villlar in midfield, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan replaced Carles Pérez on the right wing. Džeko replaced Borja Mayoral as the sole attacker up front.

MANCHESTER UNITED 6-2 AS ROMA POST MATCH ANALYSIS:

Manchester United Roma, Six Sports

The first half was one of the most bizarre halves seen in world football recently, consisting of three goals and three substitutions. Roma lost Veretout, Pau Lopez and Spinazzola within forty minutes of the half due to injury.

Fernandes opened the scoring for United in the 9th minute off a Cavani pass for a fantastic close-range lift over Pau Lopez. However, United’s lead lasted just five minutes thanks to Pellegrini scoring an emphatic penalty after Pogba had handled the ball inside the box.

Roma doubled their advantage when Džeko scored his sixth Old Trafford goal from six yards, after Harry Maguire missed to clear a low Pellegrini pass from the left wing. United were staring at yet another semi-final exit as Roma had two crucial away goals in their kitty.

However, United turned on the style in the second half. Cavani equalized in the 48th minute with an excellent finish inside the box from a Fernandes pass. The Uruguayan then slotted home from close range to gave United the lead in the 64th minute, after substitute goalkeeper Antonio Mirante parried Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s shot in his path.

Ex-Red Devil Smalling needlessly fouled Cavani in his box to give United a penalty in 70th minute. Fernandes doubled his goal tally for the night with yet another emphatic conversion from 12 yards.

The Portuguese was involved in United’s fifth for the night as well after his pass found Pogba’s thumping header into the top corner. In-form attacker Greenwood completed United’s rout as his shot from inside the box hit Mirante on its way to goal.

Solskjær’s wish for a repeat performance from 2007 had been fulfilled as United would travel to Rome for the second leg full of confidence.

NOTABLE PERFORMANCES:

Edinson Cavani (FW) – 9/10 (Manchester United): Equalized for United and gave them the lead. Setup United’s first goal, and the last one with an exquisite pass to find Greenwood.

Bruno Fernandes (MF) – 9/10 (Manchester United): Back to his scoring best; brilliant dinked finish to score United’s first followed by a characteristically emphatic penalty. Also setup Cavani’s equalizer and Pogba’s headed goal.

Antonio Mirante (GK) – 4/10 (Roma):  Spilled Wan-Bissaka’s shot in Cavani’s path to gift United the lead. Allowed Greenwood’s shot to be deflected off him to go in the back of the net.

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