Manchester Utd vs AS Roma LIVE Football Match Score 29 April 2021
Competition favourites Manchester United host Serie A side Roma in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday, with the tie set to play a large role in defining both clubs’ seasons.
Coming into their fifth semi-final since the start of last year, United have yet to progress to a final during that time, while the under-performing Italian outfit arrive at Old Trafford on a run of just one victory from their last seven league games.
In the semi-finals for the second successive year, Manchester United have been imperious in Europa League action since dropping down from the Champions League, as they previously dismissed Spanish sides Real Sociedad and Granada 4-0 on aggregate and saw off Roma’s Serie A counterparts AC Milan in between.
Though they have already lost four semis during boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s relatively brief reign – including last season’s one-off tie with Sevilla – the Red Devils are now favourites to lift their first trophy since 2017’s final success under Jose Mourinho.
Not only are they the only Premier League side still within 10 points of their irrepressible local rivals Manchester City, but United are also unbeaten in their last 17 home games in the Europa League (winning 13 and drawing four), and had won five in a row in the competition before two draws earlier this spring.
Always a source of inspiration for Solskjaer’s side, Bruno Fernandes has consistently excelled in this competition – with a remarkable 17 goals and 11 assists from 30 Europa League outings for United and former club Sporting.
The Portuguese playmaker featured for a full 90 minutes in United’s weekend stalemate with old foes Leeds United – despite Solskjaer omitting both Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani ahead of Thursday’s big game – as his team extended their unbeaten away record in the English top flight to 24 matches.
Following the white-hot controversy of last week, United now face Roma twice in the space of seven days – with an Old Trafford fixture against bitter rivals Liverpool awkwardly wedged in between – as they attempt to end a run of semi-final failures and earn their place in a major final on merit.
Since the Europa League’s return in February, Italy’s last side standing in continental competition have hit a domestic downturn, which reached its nadir last Sunday as Roma crashed to a 3-2 defeat against relegation battlers Cagliari. Coming just a week after losing to Torino – another team at the wrong end of Serie A – Paulo Fonseca is acutely aware that any hopes of saving his job rest on going all the way in Europe.
Balancing their continental ambitions with achieving domestic consistency has, then, proved beyond Fonseca’s seventh-placed outfit in recent times, with their whole campaign now to be judged against whether they can reach the club’s first European final in 30 years.
- This will be the seventh meeting between Manchester United and Roma in European competition. The Red Devils have only lost one of the previous six (W4 D1) – all of which have been in the Champions League.
- Roma have lost all three of their previous away games against Manchester United, conceding nine goals and scoring just once in return. This will be their first such trip since April 2008, when they lost 1-0 in a Champions League quarter-final.
- United have only lost one of their last 12 games against Italian opponents in European competition (W8 D3), with the only defeat in this run coming at home to Juventus in the Champions League group stage in 2018-19.
- Roma will be looking for their first European victory away to English opponents since February 2001 (1-0 v Liverpool in the Uefa Cup), having failed to win any of their last 12 such games against seven different English sides (D4 L8).
- Manchester United have not lost at home in a European semi-final since April 1997 (1-0 v Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League), winning four and drawing three of their last seven such games.
- Roma have won all five of their games after the group stages in the Europa League this season – they last won more in a single Uefa Cup/Europa League campaign in 1990-91 (seven), a season in which they went on to reach the final.
- Since making his debut in the competition in February 2018, Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes has been directly involved in more goals in the Europa League than any other player (26 – 17 goals and nine assists).
- Roma striker Edin Dzeko has scored five goals in four previous games against Manchester United at Old Trafford, including a double in each of his last two there while playing for Manchester City (in October 2011 and March 2014).