Edinson Cavani and Bruno Fernandes ran the show as Manchester United completed a tremendous comeback to beat AS Roma 6-2 at Old Trafford in the UEFA Europa League.
Manchester United made the perfect start to the game as they took the lead just eight minutes in when Bruno Fernandes produced a delectable chip after being played in by Edinson Cavani. However, AS Roma found their way back through not long after as Paul Pogba conceded a penalty for handball, which Lorenzo Pellegrini put away to make it 1-1.
Just a little after the half-hour mark, Roma, despite having already lost two players to injury, were in the lead as Edin Dzeko came to haunt Manchester United yet again, prodding home from close range after some neat work by Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pellegrini. Post the half-time break. though, it was all Manchester United as they shored the Giallorossi defence to shreds, producing five unanswered goals.
It was Cavani who started the rout, with a fine finish that sent the ball into the top corner before he was on hand to score off a rebound from an Aaron Wan-Bissaka shot to make it 3-2 for the Red Devils. The hosts got a penalty of their own in the 71st minute after ex-United star Chris Smalling fouled Cavani in the box and Bruno Fernandes stepped up and made no mistake from the spot.
There was still enough time for Pogba to make amends for giving away the penalty as he nodded home Fernandes’ cross for the fifth goal before substitute Mason Greenwood made it 6-2 in the 86th minute after being played in by a sumptuous pass from Cavani. The result means Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have a foot through the door to the finals of the Europa League.
Here are our player ratings for the Manchester United stars after a stunning comeback win against AS Roma.
David de Gea: 5.5/10
Yet another penalty went without him saving it – 21 in a row now. Not a lot he could have done about Dzeko’s goal. Made a couple of straightforward stops after the break. Distribution was not always on point, though.
The last time De Gea saved a penalty:
– Lukaku was at Everton
– Leicester weren’t confirmed as league winners
– Views by Drake wasn’t released as yet
– Madrid had 10 UCLs
– Damn Daniel was the trending meme
– Vine still existed
– Caitlyn Jenner hadn’t fully transitioned as yet
— #GlazersOut 🔰 (@NoodleHairSZN) April 29, 2021
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 6.5/10
Looked a threat on the attack and made constant forward forays but that meant he left spaces open for Roma, which they capitalised on in the lead-up to the second goal. Forced the third goal for Manchester United as it was his shot that was saved for Cavani to strike home the rebound. Produced three tackles and two interceptions.
Victor Lindelof: 6/10
Should have done better for Roma’s second goal. Other than that, a largely comfortable outing for the Swede, although he was not as effective he can be when carrying the ball out from the back.
Harry Maguire: 6/10
Had a few nervy moments but was a decent display in an overall sense as he cut out crosses regularly and made a team-high five clearances. Misplaced just four of his 69 attempted passes.
Luke Shaw: 7/10
Guilty of playing Pellegrini on in the lead-up to the second goal and was not aware of Dzeko’s run. Other than that, solid defensively and a constant outlet in attack, delivered some teasing passes into the box. Finished with three dribbles and a key pass.
Luke Shaw 😍pic.twitter.com/HMtSdbToxC
— UnitedReview (@TheUtdReview) April 30, 2021
Scott McTominay: 6/10
A middling performance from the Manchester United midfielder, who was not able to impose himself on the proceedings. Improved after the half-time break and helped his team stay on the front foot, completing 93% of his passes.
Sloppy start to the game, Fred was culpable during the build-up leading to the penalty for Roma while he was not assured enough with his passing either. Like McTominay, he showed improvements as the game wore on and tried to drive the team forward at pace. Finished with a couple of tackles and three interceptions.
Marcus Rashford: 6/10
Starting out on the right wing yet again, the England international was not involved a great deal apart from a couple of dangerous runs forward. Did manage to create a chance but still does not look to be at his peak fitness.
Bruno Fernandes: 10/10
Bruno Fernandes has been directly involved in more goal across all competitions (42) than any other Premier League player this season:
◎ 52 games
◉ 26 goals
◉ 16 assists
PFA Players' Player of the Year? 🤔
— Squawka Bet (@SquawkaBet) April 29, 2021
The Player to Watch in our match preview, Bruno Fernandes had been going through bit of a lean patch of late, but the Europa League encounter brought the best out of him as he got things rolling for Manchester United with a peach of a finish to open the scoring. Continued to create chances in plenty before he set Cavani up for the second-half equaliser.
Nerveless from the penalty spot yet again before he produced a pinpoint cross for Pogba to head home for the fifth goal. Finished with a game-high six key passes. Also pressed well from the front, putting the visitors under pressure. Top-notch from the Portuguese playmaker.
Paul Pogba: 8.5/10
Paul Pogba won more duels (10), completed more take-ons (4) and won more fouls (4) than any other Man Utd player against Roma. #UEL
And he grabbed himself a goal. 😤 pic.twitter.com/o8ES8BNahD
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 29, 2021
Made a stunning start to the game executing a lovely turn and run before finding Cavani, who then set Fernandes up for the opening goal before an awkward tackle in the box save him give away a penalty for handball.
Had a goal-bound effort saved by Pau Lopez in the first period. Was one of the main protagonists of the second half comeback, driving United forward relentlessly and finding his teammates in dangerous positions. Good header for the fifth goal and finished with one key pass.
Edinson Cavani: 10/10
Simply sensational. Beautiful assist for Bruno Fernandes’s goal in the first period before he turned the game on its head after the break with two quickfire goals – one showing off his supreme finishing skills while the other displayed his poacher’s instincts.
Should have had a hat-trick but missed a chance. More than made up for it with a stunning pass to find Greenwood for the sixth goal after he had won the penalty from which Bruno Fernandes scored to make it 5-2. Made three key passes, completed 89% of his passes, while his pressing from the front was key to Roma crumbling.
Edinson Cavani’s game by numbers vs. AS Roma:
89% pass accuracy
7 shots [4 on target]
5 chances created
4 ball recoveries
1 penalty won
Class is permanent. 👏 pic.twitter.com/AZjaBCuTJF
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) April 29, 2021
Mason Greenwood: 7/10
Replaced Rashford in the 75th minute. Took his goal very well to heap more misery on Roma late in the game.
Nemanja Matic: N/A
On for Fred in the 83rd minute. Ensured United stayed in control
Juan Mata: N/A
Late substitute for Fernandes.