Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani each scored two times as Manchester United whipped an injury-hit Roma 6-2 at Old Trafford to close in on the Europa League final.
United are aiming to get to a final under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the fifth time of asking after four semi-final beats in the past 2 seasons.
However only a 2nd leg collapse will avoid them from dealing with Villarreal or Toolbox in Gdansk on May 26 after a sensational second-half efficiency.
The home side trailed at the break as Lorenzo Pellegrini’s penalty and Edin Dzeko’s tap-in counteracted Fernandes’s early opener.
However the Italians lost 3 players to injury prior to the break and United took complete benefit.
2 predatory finishes from Cavani turned the tie around before Fernandes also fired house from the spot.
Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood rounded off the scoring as United ended up being the first string to score six objectives in a European semi-final because Real Madrid in 1964.
Edinson Cavani struck twice as Manchester United whipped Roma 6-2 in the very first leg of their Europa League semi-final AFP/ Paul ELLIS
” Very delighted with the reaction,” stated Solskjaer. “2nd half we were excellent.”
With United realistically out of the Premier League title race, however likewise nearly specific to protect a top-four finish, Solskjaer called his greatest readily available side as he aims to end a four-year trophy dry spell for the Red Devils.
The mix play between Pogba, Fernandes and Cavani regularly cut the Roma defence apart as they only partially prevented a repeat of the 7-1 hammering they suffered at Old Trafford in the 2006/07 Champions League quarter-finals.
” We understand we’ve got creative gamers, players who can produce huge opportunities, score objectives, it has to do with getting them in the positions,” included Solskjaer.
” Marcus (Rashford), Bruno, Paul, Edinson are all capable. The distinction today is we took the majority of our possibilities.”
In contrast to the huge majority of video games this season, United came flying out the blocks and led after just 9 minutes.
Pogba and Cavani teed up Fernandes, who dinked the ball over the advancing Pau Lopez for his 25th objective of the season.
6 of the very best: Paul Pogba (left) scored in Manchester United’s 6-2 win over Roma AFP/ Paul ELLIS
Sitting seventh in Serie A, this competition represented Roma’s last realistic possibility to receive the Champions League next season and they reacted like a side whose season depended on it.
Pogba was penalised for handball as he slid in to try and obstruct Rick Karsdorp’s cross and Pellegrini with confidence beat David de Gea from the area.
Dzeko was a consistent thorn in United’s side in 4 years as a Manchester City gamer and scored for the 6th time at Old Trafford when he tapped house Pellegrini’s low cross on 34 minutes.
By that phase Jordan Veretout and Lopez had hobbled off hurt and Leonardo Spinazzola followed prior to the break, leaving Roma without the chance to make any more replacements in the 2nd half.
” We had a good very first half but we didn’t exist in the 2nd,” Roma coach Paulo Fonseca informed Sky Sport.
” It’s tough to describe how the very same team that did so well in the first half had that type of second half.”
Another great team move involving Pogba, Fernandes and Cavani ended with the Uruguayan shooting into the top corner three minutes into the second half.
Cavani was then in the best location for a tap-in when replacement goalkeeper Antonio Mirante parried Aaron Wan Bissaka’s shot into his course.
Chris Smalling had a night to forget on his return to Old Trafford, however was roughly penalised when he encountered Cavani as a ball flashed across the Roma objective.
Fernandes was clinical from the area to give United breathing space.
The Portuguese turned provider for Pogba to power house a header 15 minutes from time.
And Greenwood landed the last blow as he settled a counter-attack thanks to some more weak goalkeeping by Mirante.