Man United produced a stunning comeback as they beat Roma 6-2 in the first leg of their semi-final Europa League tie. Bruno Fernandes scored a brilliant goal to put Man United ahead in the first half. Lorenzo Pellegrini then scored from the penalty spot before Edin Dzeko put them in front. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s semi-final curse was set to continue before Man United produced a scintillating comeback.
Edison Cavani equalized and then put the hosts 3-2 ahead continuing his scoring prowess against the visitors. Bruno Fernandes then doubled the lead from the penalty spot before Paul Pogba headed expertly into the goal. Mason Greenwood applied the icing on the cake to give Man United a four-goal lead over Roma going into the second leg.
Man Utd: De Gea (7), Wan-Bissaka (5), Lindelof (6), Maguire (7), Shaw (7), McTominay (7), Fred (6), Rashford (6), Fernandes (9), Pogba (8), Cavani (9).
Subs: Greenwood (7), Mata (n/a), Matic (n/a).
Roma: Pau Lopez (4), Smalling (5), Cristante (6), Ibanez (5), Karsdorp (7), Diawara (6), Veretout (3), Spinazzola (7), Pellegrini (7), Mkhitaryan (6), Dzeko (7).
Subs: Mirante (5), Villar (5), Bruno Peres (5).
Man of the Match: Edinson Cavani.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: “The job is not done, but it was a job well done. Roma has got quality, scored two goals with their two chances we gave them in the first half, but I was very pleased with the response. The second half was very good.” he said. “We know we’ve got creative players; it’s about getting them up there in good positions. We took most of our chances, I am very pleased. The character showed the players didn’t lose their heads.”
Paulo Fonseca: “It’s a heavy defeat. We had a good first half, but we didn’t exist in the second. It’s difficult to explain how the same team that did so well in the first half had that kind of second half. It’s hard to play against a side like United without having the substitutions [to make in the second half].” he said. “Even the Manchester United coach was very honest [about Smalling’s tackle on Cavani] and didn’t think it was a penalty either. I really didn’t think it was a penalty. It was a decisive moment in the game and it was tough to take.”