Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's post-match comments: The final, David De Gea's fantastic performance and both legs of the semi-final
Manchester United's Norwegian coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (C) reatcs at the end of the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match between AS Roma and Manchester United at the Olympic Stadium in Rome, on May 6, 2021. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP) (Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images)

Manchester United make it through to the final of the UEFA Europa League in two successive seasons after defeating A.S. Roma at ease over two legs. Two goals from Edinson Cavani couldn't prevent defeat in Italy although the Manchester side did secure progression purely on aggregate. The Red Devils will play Villareal in the final of the competition in Gdansk after Arsenal failed to take advantage of their away goal, the tie finishing 0-0 at the Emirates Stadium, Villareal clinched victory 2-1 on aggregate over the two legged clash. 

Man United came into the away clash with a healthy victory in the first leg at Old Trafford, a 6-2 victory putting the Red Devils one foot in the final with a job still to be done in the second. Roma came out with intent in the opening stages, a brilliant save from David De Gea shutting down any hopes of a quick start by the hosts as Lorenzo Pellegrini's free kick was drifted through to Gianluca Mancini whose close range effort was instinctively flicked to safety by the United keeper. The Italian side continued to threaten on home soil, ex player Henrikh Mkhitaryan finding himself unmarked at the back post only to head the ball into the side netting from just four yards out. 

United did manage to play themselves into the game creating some fruitful chances of their own, Fred clipping the bar, his lob over the keeper nearly catching out the Italian outfit as United came ever so near to breaking the deadlock at the Stadio Olimpico. Cavani was the man once again to break the shackles giving the visitors the lead as Fred slipped him through on goal on the counter attack, the formidable striker slamming home the finish from 20 yards out.

Just after half time Roma did get one back on the scoresheet, Edin Dzeko in the right place at the right time to nod a close range header into an empty net. Bryan Cristante pulled another back in the 60th minute with Cavani levelling 8 minutes later powering an eight yard header into the ground and beyond Antonio Mirante. Although Roma did win the contest late on through an own goal, the ball deflecting in off Alex Telles, Roma were outclassed in the second half of the first leg leaving them too much to do to pull back any hopes of making the final of the competition.

  • Solskjaer's thoughts:

After the 8-5 win on aggregate, the United boss spoke to the media and was delighted on making it to the final with a chance of securing a trophy this season.

"It feels good to be in the final. We played one very, very good half at Old Trafford which has taken us through. I'm disappointed we lost, especially the way we played in the second half."

On David De Gea's fantastic performance in goal as he continued to show Solskjaer he has unfinished business in a United shirt:

"David was vital, he was man of the match for a reason. David has put very good application into his game and will be knocking on the door for sure to start the final."

He knows both legs of the semi-final proved to be a huge challenge, the Red Devils last winning the UEFA Europa League in the 2016-2017 season:

"It could easily have been 8-6 to them. It was a strange game. We kept giving them the ball but luckily we have one of the best keepers in the world. We are in the final and are looking forward to the 26th of May."

  • Looking forward:

Man United have Aston Villa up next on Sunday at Villa Park in the Premier League, with Leicester City at Old Trafford on May 11th to come in the league.

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