Written by Ciaran Coyle
An enthralling game of football ended with the home side winning on the night but it’s Manchester United who booked their place in the Europa League final thanks to their first-leg heroics.
Two goals from Edinson Cavani were cancelled out by three second half strikes by Edin Džeko, Bryan Cristante and Nicola Zalewiski, but it wasn’t enough to force what would have been a historic turnaround.
The game started in a frantic fashion with both sides having good opportunities to take the lead on the night within the opening ten minutes of the game. David De Gea, who was called into action multiple times throughout the 90 minutes, was forced into a point-blank save when Andrea Mancini got on the end of Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s cross.
The visitors were the ones who made the breakthrough when Cavani smashed his effort passed Antonio Mirante in the Roma goal to claim his sixth goal in his last six games in all competitions.
Roma came out for the second half looking to stamp their authority on the game and with just over ten minutes gone in the second half, they levelled the scores through Džeko’s close range header. They then went ahead just three minutes later through Bryan Cristante who manged to rob Fred of the ball just outside the box and fire his shot past De Gea on the 60th minute.
Roma’s hope of doing the impossible was short-lived as just eight minutes later, the Uruguayan talisman claimed his second of the night, nodding home from close range, to put the tie beyond doubt.
19 year-old Nicola Zalewski had the last say at the Stadio Olimpico with his deflected effort at the back post giving the home side victory on the night but it was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side who claimed the ultimate prize of a place in the final where they will take on Villarreal.
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Sub-edited by Cameron Winstanley