Talking Points: Roma 3 United 2
Manchester United booked a place in the UEFA Europa League final after an incredible 8-5 aggregate victory over AS Roma.
An Edinson Cavani thunderbolt gave the Reds the lead in the away leg of the semi-final, before second-half goals from Edin Dzeko and Bryan Cristante put the hosts ahead.
The Uruguayan completed his double with a header in the 68th minute, before a deflected Nicola Zalewski strike meant it ended 3-2 to Roma on the night at the Stadio Olimpico.
Below are all the key discussion points from our trip to the Italian capital…
ROLL ON GDANSK
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have reached a major final for the first time since the Norwegian became manager at Old Trafford. Not only has the two-legged triumph over Roma banished the demons of falling at the semi-finals stage of the Europa League last season, it has also ended a run of four last-four exits in cup competitions. The Reds will face Unai Emery’s Villarreal in a showdown for the silverware in Poland later this month.
CAN’T STOP CAVANI
Edinson is a man in scintillating form right now, having scored seven goals in his last six appearances in all competitions – including a brace in both legs against our Italian opponents. He is just the second United player in European history to score a goal in both legs of a semi-final tie. The only other Red to achieve that feat was Tommy Taylor, against Real Madrid in the 1956/57 European Cup campaign.
With the Reds 7-2 up and cruising, Roma had nothing to lose and threw all they could at United, pulling two goals back in three minutes as Eden Dzeko headed from close range and Bryan Cristante struck from close range. As the onslaught continued, David De Gea made several vital saves - had the Spaniard not stood firm at that point, Solskjaer's men could have been under immense pressure with half an hour to go.
By being in the line-up to face Roma, Mason Greenwood made his 100th appearance for the club, at the age of just 19 years and 217 days. It means he is the youngest English player to reach that milestone at United and the third youngest overall after Northern Ireland heroes George Best and Norman Whiteside.
Matchday Review: We're going to Gdansk!
🎥 MATCHDAY REVIEW: Watch MUTV's post-match show in full after Cavani, De Gea and co sealed our place in the final...
United will vie with Villarreal to lift the Europa League trophy on 26 May - the same date on which Solskjaer scored that unforgettable winning goal for the Reds in the 1999 Champions League final, to complete the incredible Treble. Time will tell if it's a good omen, 22 years on.
VILLA BEFORE VILLARREAL
Villarreal will be our foes in the Europa League final but Villa - Aston Villa - will be our next opponents when we travel to the West Midlands on Sunday afternoon for a Premier League fixture. It's the first of three games in a gruelling five days, with our home fixtures against Leicester City and Liverpool now scheduled for Tuesday evening and Thursday night respectively. A win over the Villans would strengthen our grip on second place and all but secure a top-four finish.