Manchester United reached the first leg of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s season but lost their seven-match unbeaten record in their last Europa League final against Roma.
Edinson Cavani scored both goals for United in the second leg of the 13-goal semi-final.
The Uruguayan opened the scoring with an outstanding first-half effort. And then the ball found the net with a fine header from Bruno Fernandes‘ excellent floated pass in the second half.
In the middle, the Roma threatened to come back a bit when former Manchester City player Edin Dzeko scored his ninth goal. Against United before Bryan Cristante cleverly finished off with a shot.
The Italians had the last word when Nicola Zalewski’s low-key drive came in through David de Gea‘s legs. After a deflection from Alex Telles.
The 8-5 aggregate victory ended United’s four semi-final defeat under Solskjaer. And set a meeting with Villarreal – who ousted Arsenal – in Gdansk on May 26.
United has not won a trophy since last winning the tournament in 2017.
United has not won a trophy since last winning the tournament in 2017. Since the five-year gap between 1985 and 1990, their most extended period ended in a FA Cup victory. That marked the start of Sir Alex Ferguson’s silver collection.
Jose Mourinho has been in charge of that recent United success. He will be responsible for reviving the Roma next season and knowing that their only chance in European football will come in a new third Uefa competition.
Get acquainted (gain, obtain) with present-day techniques.
If winning one trophy as United manager has been Solskjaer’s victory. It also underscores why Norway continues its efforts to keep Cavani at Old Trafford.
At 19, Mason Greenwood is on the other side of the average age to Cavani. The England man surpassed Duncan Edwards as the youngest Englishman to reach 100 United appearances. And the third-youngest after Norman Whiteside and George Best.
Greenwood has a lot to learn. Cavani, 34, is a transcript.
His four goals in contention have brought him to 14 this season. And a seven-goal haul in six games suggests he is reaching the top form in time.
Cavani’s first-half effort was stunning. Starting with Paul Pogba winning possession, United’s teamwork was brilliant.
A significant lay-off by Fernandes sent Fred running through midfield. Also, the pass was good enough. But Cavani still had lots of work to do as he belted his shot into the Roma net.
Furthermore, his second was much more subtle, coming from another Fernandes assist. A deep cross delivered to perfection. And which invited the headed finish, which effectively killed the tie.
The word says Cavani is now determined to stay at United for another season. And as he leads the number nine. Solskjaer will be happy if those proposals prove correct.
De Gea, to the best of his ability.
It has become a modern tradition for goalkeepers who are second players to play in cup competitions to stay motivated.
That was the case at United in 2016-17, which meant Sergio Romero rather than De Gea played in the Europa League final, beating Ajax in Stockholm.
So, given De Gea has shown in all four Europa League commitments. Since losing his Premier League place to Dean Henderson. He should be ready to visit Gdansk.
Nothing happened in the match that could lead Solkjaer to conclude that De Gea should not get a job.
The Spaniard was excellent and without him. What seemed to be a Roman return might have been a real thing.
Right from the start, he denied Gianluca Mancini for a very good save. And it took another block to block Lorenzo Pellegrini, giving the visitors a chance.
De Gea then made a stand in the second half, which was very important as the Roma tried to open the tie in the head. He responded to Dzeko’s effort to get to the top corner away from the danger.
After that, he saved some things from former United midfielders Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Cristante. On the other hand, another Roma goal would give them more momentum. And leave them with only two.
The current situation of having two international goalkeepers in the game seems unlikely. But in this case, De Gea is far from the best he can do.
‘We played one excellent half’ – United Manager.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar, speaking to BT Sport, said: “It sounds good to be in the final. We played one excellent half at Old Trafford that we passed.
“I’m a bit disappointed about the fact that we lost. And especially the way United played it in the second half.
“It would have been easy 8-6 for them. It was an unusual game. We have been giving them the ball.
“But luckily, we have one of the best goalkeepers in the world. We are in the final and are looking forward to May 26.
On United’s punishing schedule over the next few days: It’s made by people who have never played football at this level.
It’s physically impossible for the players. Furthermore, We’ll need everyone in these four games. It’s a temporary change, but we have to be ready.”