Edinson Cavani was the difference maker over two legs as Manchester United beat Roma 8-5 on aggregate

Cavani scored four goals in total and provided two assists, contributing directly to six of United’s eight goals.

AS Roma v Manchester United - UEFA Europa League Semi Final: Leg Two
(Photo by Tullio Puglia – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

The Uruguayan struck two goals in each leg of the smi-final, and Roma will be glad if they never have to see him again.

By netting in both legs of the semi-final, Cavani did what no Manchester United player had managed since 1957.

History

Cavani followed in the footsteps of the great Tommy Taylor, who scored 131 goals in 191 games and is United’s 14th all-time leading goalscorer.

Taylor scored away at Real Madrid in front of 135,000 fans as United slipped to a 3-1 first leg defeat.

He then scored in a 2-2 draw in the second leg, as did Bobby Charlton, with United bowing out to the eventual winners 5-3 on aggregate.

 

Tragically Taylor never got the opportunity to try again next year, as he died in the Munich air disaster in February 1958, before United could reach the semi-final stage.

New records

This might be the Europa League instead of the European Cup, but it is still a prestigious trophy United will be proud to win.

He is the first United player ever to score in both legs of a European semi-final which the team has won.

Considering the team’s history reaching various subsequent European finals in 1968, 1991, 1999, 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2017, not to mention the agonising semi-final defeats under Sir Alex Ferguson in 1997 and 2002, it is remarkable Taylor’s record has lasted so long.

It seems fitting that a true world class striker like Cavani should be the one to match it.

AS Roma v Manchester United - UEFA Europa League
(Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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