Roma came into this game with a mountain to climb. The Italians needed to score four and hope there was no reply from United for them to reach the final. Roma set about their business and came close within the opening ten minutes. First Pellegrini fired a shot just wide before seeing another effort of his well saved by de Gea in the United goal. Although their task seemed almost impossible Roma were determined to give it a real go.
Just like Roma, United had plenty of threats of their own and on the twenty minute Cavani rattled the crossbar. Mirante was helpless in the Roma goal but thankfully for him the woodwork had saved him. Moments later Cavani had another effort at goal and this time Mirante pulled off a fine save to deny him. United were getting closer!
It was end to end and both sides looked dangerous going forward but both goalkeepers were having fine games. Roma were desperate to get a goal before half time and they nearly did. Once again Pellegrini tested de Gea and once again the Spaniard was equal to his effort. Next up it was Gianluca Mancini to test the United number one. The Italian defender rose highest from a dangerous free kick but de Gea made a good save to deny him.
United had soaked up a fair bit of pressure but with six minutes to go until half time they took the lead. Fred played in Cavani and the Uruguayan lashed the ball past Mirante to make it 1-0. It was an excellent finish by Cavani and once again he’d delivered on a big occasion. Half time arrived and now Roma’s task was even harder.
The start of the second half saw Solskjaer make two changes. Alex Telles replaced Luke Shaw and Wan-Bissaka who was already on a booking was replaced by youngster Brandon Williams. United started the second half better than the first but it didn’t take Roma long to find their feet again.
As we approached the hour mark the home side gave themselves the faintest of lifelines. Pedro’s cross found its way to Edin Dzeko and the Bosnian headed in from close range to make it 1-1 on the night. Three minutes later Roma took the lead. Fred turned into trouble on the edge of his own box before Cristante lashed the ball past de Gea to make it 2-1. Roma needed three more but there was still half an hour to play! Surely they couldn’t?
Roma’s tails were really up and two minutes after taking the lead they had two great chances within seconds of each other. First de Gea denied Dzeko adding to his tally before Pedro fired the rebound goal wards but again de Gea came to the rescue. The Spaniard had tipped the ball onto the post before it rolled across the line but thankfully for United there was nobody there to tap it in! Mkhitaryan was next to be frustrated. The Armenian darted into the penalty area before seeing his low shot well saved by the United goalkeeper.
United had weathered the Roma storm and with just over twenty minutes remaining they struck to draw level. Fernandes found Cavani with a wonderful cross and the United centre forward powered a header past Mirante for his second of the game. The cross had got the finished it deserved.
It was now 2-2 on the night but United were winning 8-4 on aggregate. It had been a scintillating game of Football and it wasn’t finished there. First Mkhitaryan struck the post before Dzeko headed over a few minutes later. Roma had given everything and with seven minutes remaining they scored a third. Teenager Zalewski saw his deflected shot go through the legs of de Gea and Roma lead for a second time. The United keeper was helpless and could do nothing to keep it out.
Solskjaer’s side negotiated the final minutes without anymore scares and although they had been defeated on the night it didn’t matter overall. The damage had been done in the first leg, it had left the Italians with far to much to do. United will now face Spanish side Villarreal in the Europa League final on the 26th of May.
Man of the Match: Edinson Cavani