Manchester United have reached a Europa League final for the second time in four years despite losing 3-2 against Roma.
The players went into the game with a healthy 6-2 aggregate from the first leg at Old Trafford, and they looked to be fully in control of the tie going into the second half 1-0 up.
But after some questionable defending and sloppy midfield play there were pulses racing as Roma grabbed two goals in quick succession. Roma snatched a third at the death but it was too late for them to mount a serious comeback.
Ultimately, United were too strong for them and now face Villareal in the final at the end of the month.
Here are the three best performers in tonight’s game.
Cavani had a complete game tonight, bagging a brace and generally displaying why he is one of the most feared strikers in Europe.
He had threatened to score twice in the first half, as his movement on the shoulder of the Roma defenders left them trailing in his dust but he did not capitalise on those chances, with one of them scraping the top of the bar.
He was not to be denied for too long though as some sublime movement saw him one on one with Roma goalkeeper, Mirante, and he smashed it past him emphatically.
Some dodgy United defending left them 2-1 down and they were lucky it was not more.
Cavani popped up in the 68th minute to head a beautifully floated ball from Fernandes into the back of the net and calm United nerves.
David De Gea
De Gea tonight proved why he was considered the best goalkeeper in the world for so long, with flashes of his brilliance of old.
If this season is his last in a United shirt, he can be proud of his recent Europa League form.
Despite conceding three goals, which the whole team should be hard on themselves about, De Gea covered himself in glory preventing Roma from getting the idea of a comeback in their heads.
With five brilliant saves from close range, including an impressive quick reaction double save, De Gea could easily be considered man of the match tonight.
It was a performance that encapsulated much of David De Gea’s time at United, as he saved them from a potentially embarrassing scoreline with trademark quick reaction saves.
For the deft touch to Fred alone, which set up the move for Cavani’s first goal, Fernandes deserves special mention.
His goals and assists have tapered off at the business end of this season, possibly because he seems to sprint absolutely everywhere, but his class is permanently on show.
Of late, he has replaced curled crosses and sumptuous strikes with little flicks and passes that show why fans have adorned him with the nickname Magnifico.
But tonight he showed a little bit of his form from earlier in the season, landing a peach of a cross on Cavani’s head to score the second goal, that he could hardly miss.
He was full of energy, as per usual, and spent a little more time coming deep to set up attacking moves rather than receiving the ball on the end of them.
Whether it is a case of tiredness or tactical positioning, Bruno’s dip in goals and assists – even though he did get one tonight – will need to be overcome as United push for a end to the season that could see them finish second and bring a European trophy back to Old Trafford.
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