As much as the tie is neve over after the first leg, with Manchester United putting six past AS Roma, it’s pretty much done. After a stellar showing, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his boys can begin picking out their hotel in Gdansk.
How did Manchester United set up?
It’s come to the point in the season where you can pretty much guess United’s starting lineup barring one or two positions. The big question was who was going to start in goal as Solskjaer left it all up in the air once again. Just like the quarterfinals, the Norwegian opted for David de Gea in the end. Many have used the switch in goalkeeper roles as a reason to suggest De Gea has been demoted to cup keeper and Henderson has been promoted to league duties. However, with United’s position all but secured, Europa League games may be the more important of the two hence Solskjaer opting for his more experienced keeper.
The Team:Embed from Getty Images
David de Gea(GK); Aaron Wan-Bissaka(RB), Victor Lindelof(RCB), Harry Maguire(LCB), Luke Shaw(LB); Scott McTominay(DM), Fred(DM), Bruno Fernandes(CAM); Paul Pogba(LAM), Edinson Cavani(ST), Marcus Rashford (RW).
Manchester United vs AS Roma: How it went down
It’s been said many times, Gary Neville coined the nickname “odd bunch” in relation to United’s performance. And once again United’s former right-back has been affirmed in his linguistic artistry. Although starting well United self-destructed within minutes of taking the lead. Not to take away from the fact that the play for United’s opener and Bruno Fernandes’ finish were sensational. But the lead didn’t last long and attention quickly turned to United’s tendency to bottle semifinals.
While performing his defensive duties the ball struck Pogba’s arm and a penalty was given and was well converted by Lorenzo Pellegrini. The Reds tried to maintain some control in their play but injuries and constant stoppages meant that momentum was constantly being lost. Moments later United were 2-1 down and staring down the barrel of defeat. And if not defeat, the prospect of having to overcome an away goal deficit.
Half time came after Solskjaer’s men huffed and puffed for the following 15 minutes after ex-City striker Edin Dzeko converted Roma’s second. While BT pundits ripped into Fred’s performance and urged the manager to make a change, Ole was delivering what had to be his greatest team talk. No changes at halftime And United found themselves with a new lease of life. Three minutes was all it took for Edinson Cavani to accurately place the ball into the top corner at the Stretford End.Embed from Getty Images
The Uruguayan followed up his first goal with a poacher’s goal meaning alongside his initial assist to create the opener, Cavani had contributed to three goals. His work didn’t stop there for the night though. After Fernandes stepped up with a penalty and an awe-inspiring assist for Pogba’s headed goal Cavani hit a pass on the half volley to set up Greenwood for the sixth which sliced Roma in two.
Final score: 6-2
Bruno Fernandes(2), Lorenzo Pelligrini, Edin Dzeko, Edinson Cavani(2), Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood.
Bigger PictureEmbed from Getty Images
United are in a very comfortable position going into the second leg despite Roma’s away goals. The Giallorossi will need 4 goals with no United reply to go through. Judging by United’s away record and Solskjaer’s desperation for silverware there is almost no chance of United throwing this one away. Almost…
One thing is for certain, Roma may think twice before boarding a plane to Old Trafford next time.