Man Utd sails past Granada to book the Roma fight
Manchester United booked a Europa League semi-final with Roma after Edinson Cavani’s early goals set them on the path to a 2-0 win over Granada at Old Trafford and a 4-0 aggregate victory.
Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes’ goals lifted a 2-0 first leg triumph at Estadio Los Carmenes last week and United took control of the draw again within six minutes at Old Trafford.
Cavani had underlined his predatory instincts during the 3-1 win at Tottenham and the formidable Uruguayan scored his first European goal for United and finished 50th overall after hitting Paul Pogba’s knockdown to drive his low drive into the bring lower corner.
Jesus Vallejo’s own goal in the last minute of regular time aggravated Granada’s night as the Spaniards missed a number of opportunities to keep the tie balanced, but United prevailed after beating Roma 3-2 on aggregate against Ajax .
11 – Edinson Cavani has scored for the eleventh consecutive year in a European competition. This is his first UEFA Europa League goal since December 2012 (for Napoli against PSV). Permanent. pic.twitter.com/mbsGhcsXRm
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 15, 2021
Man Utd: de Gea (7), Wan Bissaka (8), Tuanzebe (7), Lindelof (7), Alex Telles (7), Matic (7), Pogba (7), Fred (7), Bruno Fernandes (7 )), Greenwood (7), Cavani (7).
Subs: Mata (6), Diallo (n / a), James (6), Williams (n / a), van de Beek (6).
Granada: Rui Silva (6), Foulquier (6), Vallejo (6), German (7), Neva (6), Montoro (6), Gonalons (6), Kenedy (6), Herrera (7), Machis ( 6), soldier (5).
Subs: Suarez (6), Puertas (5), Victor Diaz (6), Jorge Molina (6), Ruiz (n / a)
Man of the Game: Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Can United break the semi-final curse?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is now preparing for his fifth semi-final in two years and hopes to do one better than in his previous four years. Roma will deliver a much tougher test than the eighth in La Liga, whose Europa League adventure was all ended on home soil.
In the absence of suspended Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay, Solskjaer put up a strong squad to ensure there would be no surprise in the second leg and Cavani waited little time to finish the competition.
He gave United the dream start when Pogba shot a cross from Alex Telles at the 34-year-old, who shot from the box into the lower corner. It was the 413rd goal for the club and country in Cavani’s famous career and further proof that he could extend his stay beyond the end of the season.
This was Granada’s first visit to England and their head coach Diego Martinez will have been encouraged by his team’s response to the early setback. Missing two presentable opportunities in quick succession, Yangel Herrera glanced at his header before it was also unmarked in the middle of the second half.
Man Utd team news
Paul Pogba captained Manchester United in Thursday’s Europa League quarter-finals against Granada.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made five changes to the side who beat Tottenham 3-1 on Sunday. Axel Tuanzebe, Alex Telles and Nemanja Matic replaced the suspended Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay.
David De Gea came in for Dean Henderson, while Marcus Rashford was replaced on the starting line-up by Mason Greenwood.
Granada simply lacked quality in the final third, while United were happy to be playing in first gear when Bruno Fernandes hit Nemanja Matic’s pass with a speculative volley that cleared the crossbar.
By then, Pogba had seen yellow for using a high arm against Granada’s captain German Sanchez – and the Frenchman may have been lucky enough not to be punished for a second bookable offense when he caught Herrera. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer held him on until the break before retiring the captain for the night and replacing him with Donny van de Beek.
The Dutchman was a marginal figure for United this season, having only made two Premier League starts. However, he wanted to impress in a relatively uneventful second phase. He almost extended his squad’s lead when the ball fell friendly on him from Mason Greenwood’s drive, but his drawn shot couldn’t disrupt Rui Silva.
Cavani was leaving on the hour shortly after seeing another Fernandes delivery with David de Gea on the other end, a mere spectator. That almost changed when Sanchez picked up Angel Montoro’s cross, but the veteran defender stretched his efforts.
Fernandes made way for the final 15 minutes as United confirmed his spot in the final four minutes with much to spare. De Gea had to save late to fend off Victor Diaz’s long-range shot and save his goal.
De Gea was not finished there when he suppressed another attempt by Herrera to counter-attack United when Telle’s cross was accidentally thrown into his own net against Vallejo’s Juan Mata.
United continues a proud tradition – Opta stats
- Manchester United have reached their 18th semi-finals in all European competitions (including the Fairs Cup) – only Liverpool (19) have played more among the English teams.
- Manchester United have won three knockout games in a row for the first time since April 2008 without participating in a major European competition.
- Granada have lost their last three UEFA Europa League games after losing just two of their first nine games in competition (W5 D2 L2).
- Since Manchester United lost their first two home games in the UEFA Europa League in the 2011/12 season, Manchester United have not lost any of their last 17 competitive games at Old Trafford (W13 D4).
- After Granada’s 2-0 defeat by Man Utd, the Spanish teams have been without a win in their last six away games against English teams (D3 L3) and have not scored a goal in their last five games.
Sunday, April 18, 3:30 p.m.
Start at 4:00 p.m.
Manchester United returns to the Premier League on Super Sunday as Burnley makes a live appearance on the Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event at 4pm. Granada welcomes Eibar to the league next Thursday at 8 p.m.
Tie in the semi-finals of the Europa League
1st leg: April 29 | Second leg: May 6th
- Manchester United versus Roma
- Villarreal versus Arsenal
When and where does the Europa League final take place?
The Europa League final will take place on Wednesday, May 26th in the Danziger Arena in Poland. The stadium was supposed to host the 2020 final, but after the tournament was delayed due to Covid-19, the showcase project took place in Cologne when Sevilla beat Inter 3-2.