This was one weird match. With a little more than half an hour gone, Roma led 2-1 and it looked like Man Utd were doomed – conceding two away goals in a European knockout tie is often fatal. But, just as Man City turned up the heat in the second half in Paris last night, so United moved up through the gears after the break, scoring five (FIVE!) goals to kill the tie parrot-dead.
United’s stars were Edinson Cavani, that swashbuckling predator, and the sublime Bruno Fernandes. Both players scored twice. Paul Pogba and sub Mason Greenwood (from a delicious Cavani assist) also got on the scoresheet; Pogba was excellent – when he’s in the mood, he’s so much fun to watch.
Roma didn’t flat-out capitulate or lose their cool – it wasn’t like that – but as the game wore on, they could not cope with United’s superior fitness and movement. As I said, it was odd. The Serie A side went quietly into the Manchester night, not humbled exactly, but definitely subdued.
6 – @ManUtd have scored six goals in a single match in European competition for the first time since netting seven against Roma in April 2007; they are the first side to net as many in a major European semi-final since Real Madrid in the European Cup in May 1964. Fun. #UEL pic.twitter.com/xpRgCbl2Rd
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 29, 2021
Edin Dzeko has scored against Manchester United at Old Trafford for three different clubs from three different countries in three different competitions.
— Richard Jolly (@RichJolly) April 29, 2021
“No I don’t feel the job is done but it was a good job done,” Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said afterwards.
“We did well but we know they have quality.
“They scored two goals from the two chances we gave them. They didn’t have loads of chances against Ajax.
“The second half was very good.”
Man of the match: Edinson Cavani (Man Utd)