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Roma 3-2 Manchester United (agg: 5-8): Red Devils ease into final

Ole Gunnar Solskjær's men cruised into their first European final since 2017 thanks to Edinson Cavani's double.

Highlights: Roma 3-2 Man. United (2 mins)
Highlights: Roma 3-2 Man. United (2 mins)

Manchester United have reached their second UEFA Europa League final by completing a comfortable 8-5 aggregate victory against Roma.

Roma vs Man. United: as it happened, reaction


Match in brief
 

Edinson Cavani is congratulated after scoring one of his two goals
Edinson Cavani is congratulated after scoring one of his two goalsAFP via Getty Images

The Red Devils arrived in Rome sporting a handsome 6-2 first-leg lead but the hosts nearly reduced arrears early on when Gianluca Mancini was denied by David de Gea and Henrikh Mkhitaryan headed into the side-netting.

Any question of a comeback, though, was answered by Edinson Cavani. Having earlier clipped the bar, the United forward was sent through by Fred and rifled his finish past Antonio Mirante.

Roma showed their spirit when Edin Džeko headed an equaliser and Bryan Cristante thumped in a second, but Cavani clinically dispatched another header to make it 2-2. A late Alex Telles own goal, at least, gave Paulo Fonseca's men the victory they deserved on the night.

Viera Capretta, Roma reporter

Let's be honest – Roma tried as much as possible. But the task was too big and it never really looked like the Giallorossi could actually replicate their comeback against Barcelona in 2018. They conceded way too much at the back, and inevitably Cavani eventually took his chances. The reaction was just about enough to scare United, but De Gea's saves did the job and Roma's European campaign comes to an end.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær all smiles as he reaches his first final at the United helm
Ole Gunnar Solskjær all smiles as he reaches his first final at the United helmAFP via Getty Images

Matthew Howarth, Manchester United reporter

Other than a 15-minute wobble in the second half, United's place in the final was rarely under serious threat – thanks largely to the reflexes of De Gea at one end and the composure of Cavani at the other. After arresting a run of four consecutive semi-final defeats, Ole Gunnar Solskjær now has the chance to end the Red Devils' longest trophy drought since the early days of Sir Alex Ferguson's tenure.

Reaction

Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Man. United manager: "We kept giving them the ball and losing it in difficult positions, but luckily we have one of the best goalkeepers in the world and a striker who wants to score goals. We've had our ups and downs. The second half today was disappointing, but we're in the final."

Maguire has sights on Europa League trophy
Maguire has sights on Europa League trophy

Harry Maguire, Man. United defender: "It's a great achievement. We started the game a bit edgy and they used a man-to-man pressing style, which made the game a bit end to end. Obviously, Edinson scored two great goals. We always know his movement when we have the ball is brilliant and he's always going to get chances when we put balls in the box."

Paulo Fonseca, Roma coach: "We are out because of those terrible 45 minutes in Manchester. Today we played a great game, but it wasn't enough. We started very well and had many chances then they scored with their first chance. We had the strength to react very well."

Bryan Cristante, Roma midfielder: "We had some great European nights this season with some big wins. It's a pity about that second half in Manchester. We exit the competition with our heads held high."

Cristante reaction as Roma bow out
Cristante reaction as Roma bow out

Key stats

  • Solskjaer has reached his first showpiece as United manager having lost in four semi-finals in all competitions before this tie.
  • Cavani has now scored 13 goals in 14 appearances against Roma in his career.
  • Roma have won nine of their last ten knockout home games in European competition.
  • The total of 13 goals scored in this tie is the highest in UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League semi-final history, surpassing the 11 between Porto and Villarreal in 2011.
Nicola Zalewski's deflected effort gave Roma victory on the night while Bryan Cristante also scored
Nicola Zalewski's deflected effort gave Roma victory on the night while Bryan Cristante also scoredAFP via Getty Images

Line-ups

Roma: Mirante; Karsdorp, Smalling (Darboe 30), Ibañez, Bruno Peres (Santon 69); Mancini, Cristante; Pedro Rodríguez (Zalewski 76), Pellegrini, Mkhitaryan; Džeko (Mayoral 76)

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka (Williams 46), Bailly, Maguire, Shaw (Alex Telles 46); Van de Beek, Fred; Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes (Mata 84), Pogba (Matić 64); Cavani (Rashford 73)

What's next

Manchester United now face Villarreal in the final on 26 May. Before then, they take on Aston Villa (09/05), Leicester (11/05), Liverpool (13/05), Fulham (18/05) and Wolves (23/05) to complete their Premier League campaign.