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With a brace and two assists each Edinson Cavani and Bruno Fernandes gave Manchester United a very comfortable victory (6-2) against Roma, in the semi-final first leg of the Europa League on Thursday.
In a completely crazy match marked by three replacements for injuries, including that of the goalkeeper, from the first period, Italian side, as well as a penalty on each side, the Red Devils made their superiority speak.
Before the return match at Stadio Olimpico in a week, they took a good option on the final on May 26 in Gdansk (Poland), they who remained on 4 failures in a row at this stage, in all competitions, including one last season against the future winner of the C3, Seville.
Technically and physically superior, they didn’t panic when the Italians took the lead late in the first period, giving them a scathing 5-0 in the second.
Contrary to its bad habits, Manchester United had started the match well, quickly putting the Romans under the extinguisher and the opener was not long in coming.
A breakthrough from Paul Pogba, who eliminated three opponents by his dribbling, a perfect handover from Cavani in the Fernandes race and a small ladle from the Portuguese perfectly balanced to lob the keeper and the desperate return of Bryan Cristante, the triangle movement was as sublime as it is unstoppable (1-0, 9th).
Head underwater, Roma, who had lost their French midfielder Jordan Veretout in the 5th minute, nevertheless managed to virtually return to their first foray into the opposing area.
By tackling to counter a center, Pogba involuntarily touched the ball with his arm, offering a penalty converted by Lorenzo Pellegrini (1-1, 15th).
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will perhaps prohibit his world champion from defending at home, since he is at the origin of 4 of the last 6 penalties whistled against Man United on his lawn.
The Italians even went ahead thanks to Edin Dzeko, for his 6th goal in his last 5 appearances at Old Trafford, after a great collective action (1-2, 33rd).
After seeing his goalkeeper Pau Lopez (28th) and his left piston Leonardo Spinazzola (37th) leave the field before the break, Roma still turned in the lead, after an incredible failure by Cavani who had intercepted a ball in the entrance to the surface (45 2).
Game postponed for the Uruguayan who found the skylight on the flat foot after a nice service from Fernandes for the equalizer (2-2, 48th), before taking advantage of a hand error from the substitute goalkeeper on a not very powerful strike Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and only have to push the ball to the bottom to give back the advantage to his team (3-2, 64th).
His 11th and 12th goals in 13 games against Roma and two actions on which the misalignment of Chris Smalling, former of the red house, was expensive.
“Edi” completed his recital by offering the last goal to Mason Greenwood, barely in play (6-2, 86th).
In the meantime, Smalling, decidedly not successful, had conceded a severe penalty for a foul on Cavani, which Fernandes (4-2, 71st) took care of, who offered Pogba a goal in this festival of the head (5 -2, 75th).
To find traces of six goals scored by United in the European Cup, we must go back to a 7-2 inflicted in 2007 … on Roma.