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Why Manchester United must be wary of Roma’s history with comebacks despite huge first-leg win

Manchester United have one foot in the Europa League final following a huge first leg advantage
Manchester United have one foot in the Europa League final following a huge first-leg advantage
ANALYST

For two weeks running, Manchester United have had seven days to rest before a game. This is the first time in the season that the club has enjoyed such a privilege.

Amidst a congested fixture list and many games to be played in the Premier League and Europe, the Red Devils have so far given a good account of themselves.

Last week’s 6-2 thrashing of AS Roma in the first leg of the Europa League semi-final has put United in the driving seat for a place in the final.

However, Manchester United now have to finish what they started. Having recorded a big win at Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will go into the second leg in high spirits.

Manchester United have one foot in final

The first leg at Old Trafford looked like a real battle in the first half before the Red Devils completely obliterated their opponents in the second half.

Despite Roma taking a 2-1 lead going into the break, United romped to a 6-2 win following a strong second-half performance inspired by Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani.

The result means Manchester United have one foot in the final of the Europa League. Having also gotten enough rest due to the cancelation of their game on Sunday against Liverpool due to fan protests, the Red Devils must be raring to go again.

Solskjaer’s side also boast a strong away record this season. Manchester United haven’t lost on the road in the Premier League in over a year and are on course to finish the season unbeaten in away league matches. That further decreases Roma’s chances of causing an upset.

Red Devils must avoid underrating Roma

Every relevant statistic points to the fact that Manchester United are all but through to the final, However, the Red Devils cannot afford to underrate Roma.

The Italian side recorded one of the biggest turnarounds in football history in 2018, when they came back from 4-1 down in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona to win 3-0 in the second leg, eliminating the Blaugrana.

The above means Roma is a side that has belief and attitude. Players like Dzeko are serial winners and cannot be underestimated.

“Of course there might be one or two changes in the selection because of the games coming up. But we have to get into the final. Everyone says it's done, but it's not,” Solskjaer said, as quoted by Manutd.com.
“I have seen bigger upsets that this and Roma have been part of big upsets. They beat Barcelona not long ago, after being 4-1 down.”

It will be a huge shock if Manchester United do not progress to the final, but the Red Devils have to be focused enough to finish the job by not looking beyond the second leg just yet.


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Edited by Arjun Panchadar
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