Teams like AS Roma might have lost their glory days, still, they are habituated to exhibit their fighting nature and shock the superior opponents – just ask Ajax and Barcelona how Roma stunned and Manchester United were given the scare at Rome, but thankfully, someone like Edinson Cavani was there for the rescue.

Roma meant business and went close quite a few times. First Gianluca Mancini had David de Gea straight into the action and save from a close range. After the resulting corner, the goalkeeper displayed his brilliance again that allowed Henrikh Mkhitaryan a free header that hit the side-netting.

Next, Lorenzo Pellegrini aimed wide from range and Rick Karsdorp burst past Luke Shaw to cross, De Gea booting the ball away.

Edin Dzeko leading the press from the front and United struggled to organize.

Manchester United started to rediscover their composure and Donny van de Beek charged down a clearance, the ball went to Fred who chipped to Edinson Cavani and the Uruguayan scooped it over Antonio Mirante but clear of the bar too.

Then at the stroke of the first half, a Bruno Fernandes flick found Fred who fed Cavani. The striker’s touch allowed him a stride before he smashed in his sixth goal in six outings.

After the break Roma struck – AlexTelles allowed Pedro to kick a cross into the turf that bounced to Dzeko whose header gave De Gea no chance.

Roma needed to score four to knock United out and it became three when a Fred dribble had him dispossessed and from 20 yards out Bryan Cristante beat a helpless De Gea.

Roma advanced forward and it was time for De Gea to save the visitors: point-blank saves from Dzeko, and Pedro kept the Roma comeback at bay.

Gratitude was again due to Cavani when his second calmed United’s nerves. Fernandes’s latest excellent assist was headed in emphatically following a clever run and the four-goal cushion was restored.

Talles scored an own goal but it was too late for Roma to script another Barcelona fairytale.

Edinson Cavani made Europa League history after netting his second brace against Roma in the space of a week to help Manchester United win their semi-final tie.

Cavani is the first player to score two or more goals in both legs of a European semi-final since Klaus Allofs for Koln back in the 1985-86 UEFA Cup against KSV Waregem.

The 34-year-old has also now hit 16 goals in his last 15 Europa League outings, including 15 in his last 10 as a starter in the competition.


Manchester United are also now only the second team in the competition’s history to hit eight or more goals across two legs of a last-four tie, with Alaves the last club to achieve that feat when they hit nine against Kaiserslautern in 2000-01.

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