The huge and ultimately dominant 6-2 victory over Roma was enough to see Manchester United qualify for a place in the Europa League final.
Although not yet the strongest result that the Red Devils have accumulated against the Italian side, it will be necessary to do better that 7-1 beating in 2007
Still, the 6-2 return victory was positive. Bruno Fernandez returned to his usual productivity and all the great United strikers managed to contribute an impressive goal. Given the inconsistency that plagues them at Old Trafford this season, seeing them end up wiping the floor with a respected side like Roma was refreshing for fans, even if they weren’t there to see him live.
However, this first half caused a slight cause for concern and this is something that United should be careful about, but also use it to light a fire in the team. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team went through at halftime, falling behind 2-1 after a flat game. Their second half made up for that, but they could not afford more such slips.
Actually scratch that. There are no longer enough omissions. United must show relentless aggression in the rematch and punish the Roma completely.
I Giallorossi is fighting incredibly on the domestic front this season. Injuries and inconsistencies have completely derailed Paulo Fonseca’s side and led to a new approach for next season, with Jose Mourinho having to take the lead.
So far, Roma have lost 11 games in Serie A this season and remain in seventh place, while rival Lazio is nine points ahead of them and is fighting for football in the Champions League. It was a grim campaign and the trust among the team is across the floor, and the injuries are constantly exhausting the country.
United, meanwhile, are stretching the muscles of a perfectly fit team, without the father of Anthony Martial and Phil Jones, and managed to organize a very successful campaign that seems ready to end behind a surprisingly good Manchester City in the Premier League. Yes, their exit from the Champions League was disappointing. , but they can correct this shortcoming by winning the Europa League and ending a four-year wait for silverware.
It would be easy to get into the second leg draw on Thursday with one eye, which is already in the final among the team, but this creates complacency and complacency is punished. A period of four goals sounds good, but Roma managed to escape the crushing defeat with two away games. They only have to celebrate first in Rome on Thursday and suddenly the pressure is on. I have nothing to lose.
Solskjaer managed to reverse the mentality at United in an incredible way, often underlined by their increased hunger and more ruthless attacking profile. The Red Devils have scored five or more goals in a match just twice under the leadership of David Moyes, Luis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho combined. They did this nine times at Solskjaer alone.
Although there are obviously still problems around Solskjaer and his inability to develop a dominant football brand for United at the moment, the growing confidence and faith among the team carries them through the matches without having to dominate. By saying this, they begin to show that they can do it; the takeover of the first match showed this, as well as the comfortable 3-1 victory against the typically tenacious team from Burnley in April.
The red devils are getting better. Going even further to alleviate the semi-final curse seems like a formality, but it is vital that they do so with the right attitude. The harassment of Roma in the first match will feel quite unnecessary if he does not do the same in the second match and comes out with a victory that creates fear in anyone who faces in the Europa League final.
The best sides are scary sides. United can build an aura of intimidation once again, making sure to put Roma to bed forever in the second game in Italy. Nobody wants to stumble into a European final, not least the country, which is a clear favorite to lift the trophy.
United have a chance to finish the season at a high level by lifting the Europa League. But the best way to do this would be the dominant way, and it starts by ensuring that the Roma are destroyed in the second stage to send a message to their potential opponent in May.
Repentance is a weakness and United must continue to move from strength to strength.