Manchester United produced a fantastic second half comeback to thrash Roma 6-2 in the Europa League semifinal first leg.
United’s semi-final curse under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looked set to continue when Lorenzo Pellegrini’s penalty and Edin Dzeko’s sixth Old Trafford goal cancelled out Bruno Fernandes’ brilliant opener to hand Roma two away goals before half-time.
But the initially disorganized United fought back with Edinson Cavani’s double, Fernandes’ second from the penalty spot, Paul Pogba’s header and Mason Greenwood’s sixth in the second half.
Roma were plagued with injuries which forced Paulo Fonseca to make three substitutions before the break.
But the Serie A side grew wearier which gave United almost free access to the goal.
United re-emerged from the break reinvigorated and needed just three minutes to draw level, with Cavani wrapping a clinical effort into the top corner of the Roma goal having held up play and exchanged passes with Fernandes.
The goal marked to start of a period of domination from Solskjaer’s side, with Cavani restoring United’s lead with a tap-in after Roma goalkeeper Mirante spilled Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s drive.
Three became four on 71 minutes when former United defender Chris Smalling was penalised for a late foul on Cavani in the area, and Fernandes confidently converted his 20th penalty in United colours.
With Roma out on their feet, Pogba glanced in a header from Fernandes’ inch-perfect cross and there was still time for substitute Greenwood to get in on the act with a deflected sixth which ensured a once-promising night for Roma ended with more Old Trafford misery and left United on the brink of another Europa League final.
The Europa League semifinal second leg will hold on May 6 at Stadio Olympico, Italy.