The week had begun with Roma fans very unhappy with Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s comments about the club. Solskjaer had said that he hadn’t watched much of Roma and didn’t really know too much about the club in response to his preparation of United’s game against them.
Roma fans were livid and put up banners where the players train which some read ‘give them something to remember us by’. Well that didn’t quite go to plan and Roma who had lost 7-1 at Old Trafford 14 years ago went down 6-2 and are surely out of the Europa League now.
It was a devastating result and it showed the quality that Manchester United can still possess on their day. It is odd in some ways though because this game had shifted back and forth and for a time Roma were leading 2-1 and looking good for it too. Oh how football can be so cruel.
Perhaps the Gods had acted too quick in announcing this would be a forgettable night for Roma once again in Europe. Within a few minutes of the game kicking off one of Roma’s best players this season Jordan Veretout had to go off with an injury. Five minutes later Roma were trailing 1-0 through a Bruno Fernandes goal. It was a great chip that Fernandes produced to put United in charge of the game. At this point the rest looked inevitable, but Roma would surprise first before hitting the canvas.
Just five minutes after the goal the Giallorossi hit back. Paul Pogba handled the ball in the area and they were awarded a penalty. The impressive Lorenzo Pellegrini who is ranked 3rd in the best Roma players in the fantasy football standings converted with no trouble and it was 1-1.
But still the total non luck continued for Roma when they lost a further two players to injury. First it was Pau Lopez and then Leonardo Spinazzola had to leave the field. The good news was that Roma would take the lead. Pellegrini was able to set up Edin Dzeko for an easy goal and Dzeko a former Manchester City player would have been happy with that. The first half ended with Roma in the lead full time would not be so kind.
Within 3 minutes of the restart Edinson Cavani had made it 2-2 though VAR did question the goal it stood. Just past the hour mark Cavani made it 3-2 to United and his 2nd of the night after latching onto a rebound. And then it was 4-2 ten minutes later with a Fernandes penalty. Chris Smalling had made the foul, the former Manchester United player, it all seemed written in the stars and this game was over for Roma, the problem was there was more goals to come.
On the 76th minute it was 5 goals for the home side, Fernandes turning provider this time and the ball found Paul Pogba’s head for sheer joy for the Red Devils. Mason Greenwood just rubbed salt into the wounds to make it 6-2 for the night and put, let’s face it, two feet into the final for Manchester United.
Roma need to win 4-0 to advance to the final, they will be at home of course for the 2nd leg but this seems quite a stretch to believe that they have any chance of making it. It has been a nightmare of a season for Roma simply because it had started so well, but this match proved that the club are in dire straits and that coach Paolo Fonseca will surely be replaced in the summer.
After going their last 3 games without a win Roma are in 7th place in Serie A which means that they would have to go through a qualifying round just to participate in next seasons Europa League. They could also finish 8th and have no European football next season, which is a real possibility. At the weekend the Giallorossi will face Sampdoria.
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