| 17.8°C Dublin

goal fest 'Now we've got to win it' - Rallying cry sounded as Man United reach Europa League final

Close

Edinson Cavani of Manchester United celebrates after scoring their side's first goal during the UEFA Europa League Semi-final against AS Roma. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

Edinson Cavani of Manchester United celebrates after scoring their side's first goal during the UEFA Europa League Semi-final against AS Roma. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

Edinson Cavani of Manchester United celebrates after scoring their side's first goal during the UEFA Europa League Semi-final against AS Roma. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire insisted reaching the Europa League final was not enough for Manchester United, after they came through a thrilling semi-final clash with Roma.

United are through to their first final under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with Edinson Cavani scoring twice in a second-leg defeat to Roma that could not deny them a place in the Europa League showpiece.

Having fallen at the semi-final stage on four occasions across the last two seasons, the Red Devils made it fifth time lucky to set-up a shot at glory against Villarreal in Poland on May 26.

Last week’s 6-2 victory at Old Trafford meant United already had one foot in the Gdansk finale ahead of the trip to Italy, where Roma made things uncomfortable and won an entertaining semi-final second leg 3-2.

Cavani was the star of the 8-5 aggregate triumph as he followed his first-leg brace with another pair in the eternal city, where he fired the visitors into a first-half lead from a fine Fred pass.

But David De Gea was the standout performer at the Stadio Olimpico, producing fine early saves and then some outstanding stops as United wobbled following quickfire Edin Dzeko and Bryan Cristante efforts.

Cavani rose to head United back level on the night from a superb Bruno Fernandes ball, but Roma gave it their all days after it was confirmed that Paulo Fonseca would be succeeded by Solskjaer’s predecessor Jose Mourinho.

Teenage debutant Nicola Zalewski fired home a deflected late effort to seal the spirited hosts a second-leg victory, but it is the Red Devils heading to Poland for a shot at their first trophy since winning the competition in 2017.

"It's a great achievement to get to the final. We didn't win the game and that's disappointing but we did the hard work in the first leg," said Maguire.

"We started the game a bit edgy. It was end to end like basketball and we gave them too many chances in second half. Now we've got to go to the final and win it."

Close

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer shakes hands with AS Roma's Rick Karsdorp after the match. REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer shakes hands with AS Roma's Rick Karsdorp after the match. REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer shakes hands with AS Roma's Rick Karsdorp after the match. REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

A relieved Solskjaer suggested a sparkling 45 minutes at Old Trafford in the first leg won his side the tie, as he hit out at the exhausting fixture schedule his side face ahead of the final against Villarreal.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

"It feels good to be in the final," he told BT Sport. "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.

"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 26 May."

When asked about the six matches his side need to play before now and the final, it was clear that he is fuming with a run that includes three Premier League matches in just six days he added: "It's unheard of. It's made by people who have never played football at this level. It’s physically impossible for the players.

"We have not been dealt a good hand. We are going to need everyone for these four games. It’s a short turnaround but we have to be ready."

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy