Double strikes from Cavani and Fernandes lead spectacular second-half United fightback - (2021)
UEFA Europa League semi-finals first-leg
Manchester United 6 Roma 2 – Old Trafford – Thursday, 29 April 2021
A scintillating second-half comeback helped Manchester United gain a healthy advantage in their semi-final tie against Roma after the Red Devils finished the first leg with a crushing 6-2 win over their Italian rivals at the Old Trafford on Thursday night.
The hosts opened the scoring in the 9th minute when a first-time pass from Edinson Cavani released Bruno Fernandes who lifted the ball delicately over on-rushing goalkeeper Pau Lopez.
Leonardo Spinazzola was seen careening down the left flank and releasing the ball to Henrikh Mkhitaryan who found Pellegrini in behind as he squared for Edin Dzeko to bundle in his sixth goal at the Old Trafford.
Cavani almost levelled before half-time when he intercepted center-back Ibanez's callous pass, but the Uruguayan was thwarted by substitute Roma goalkeeper Antonio Mirante before Amadou Diawara blocked his follow-up shot from the rebound.
The goal opened the gates for more as Cavani restored United's advantage with a tap-in after Mirante failed to collect Aaron Wan-Bissaka's drive cleanly.
The Red Devils extended their lead to four on 71 minutes when former United defender Chris Smalling was penalized for a foul on Cavani inside the box and Fernandes was there as usual to convert the resultant spot kick.
With Roma completely out of sorts, Pogba glanced in a header from an inch-perfect Fernandes cross to add a fifth on 75 minutes.
MANCHESTER UTD playing in a 4-2-3-1 formation: De Gea (goal); Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred (Matic 83); Rashford (Greenwood 76), Fernandes (Mata 89), Pogba; Cavani.
Subs not used: Grant, Henderson, Bailly, Diallo, James, Telles, Williams, Van de Beek, Tuanzebe.
ROMA playing in a 3-4-2-1 formation: Lopez (Mirante 28) (goal); Smalling, Cristante, Ibanez; Karsdorp, Diawara, Veretout (Villar 5) Spinazzola (Peres 37); Pellegrini, Mkhitaryan; Dzeko
Subs not used: Fuzato, Santon, Mayoral, Kumbulla, Perez, Ciervo, Darboe.
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