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Roma collapsed in the Europa League semi-final against Manchester United

Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani scored twice each, making a huge move towards Manchester United with the Europa League 6–2 win in the final AS Roma semi-final first leg at Old Trafford on Thursday.

United’s four-match defeat under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to end after the second leg next week in the Italian capital, with Fernandes and Cavani presenting a class, each to achieve their objectives provided two assists.

Roma paid the price for three injuries in the first half, including goalkeeper Pau Lopez, who forced them to use all three windows before going 2–1 at the break. But it should not affect the quality offered by Portuguese midfielder Fernandes and Uruguay striker Cavani, to which the visitors simply did not respond.

United started well in the ninth minute with a goal. The return of Paul Pogba and Cavani welcomed Fernandes, who brilliantly led Lopez. Six minutes later, however, Roma received a penalty when Manchester United midfielder Pogba slipped carelessly into Rick Karsdorp’s attack, as well as a defender’s shot hitting the Frenchman’s outside arm and Lorenzo Pellegrini dribbled on the spot.

It faltered for United in the 34th minute when their former midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan fed Pellegrini to the inner left channel and the Italian lower cross was handed to former Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko.

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However, Roma coach Paulo Fonseca’s inability to freshen his team on the bench in the second half proved decisive, as they retreated in front of a determined joint. Cavani equalized three minutes into the match after the visitors intercepted a shot from Fernandes.

Uruguayan completed the change with a simple intervention after Antonio Mirante, Rome’s substitute goalkeeper, failed to keep up with a low shot by Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Former United defender Chris Smalling placed Cavani and Pogba in fifth place, followed by Fernandes’ cross, with him scoring 4–2. There was still time to substitute Mason Greenwood with a fun ending after being played by the inconsiderate Cavani.

United will face Villarreal or Arsenal in the Europa League finals. The Spanish team won the first leg 2–1 in Spain on Thursday.

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