Follow all the action as Manchester United host Roma in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is still bidding to win his first silverware as United head coach, having lost his last four semi-final appearances since taking charge at Old Trafford. His side are primed to break that curse, though, with victories against Granada, AC Milan and Real Sociedad in the knockout stages making United favourites to lift the trophy in Gdansk next month. “It will be a dream come true the day I can lift a trophy for this club as a manager, of course,” Solskjaer said. “For this team and myself, our ambition this season is to finish with lifting a trophy and being able to celebrate. I know how much that can mean for a group moving forward.”
United lost momentum at the weekend, held to a drab 0-0 draw by Leeds, although there was little to play for with Manchester City on the brink of sealing the Premier League title. For Roma, whose squad features former United players Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the situation domestically has been of far greater concern, with defeat by Cagliari leaving the club languishing in seventh in the Serie A table. Follow all the action live below:
- How to watch Manchester United vs Roma
- Roma tie is best chance to break United’s semi-final curse
- Rashford overcomes foot injury
- Solskjaer plays down Roma fan provocation
Solskjaer on team selection
Mayoral on the bench
Roma striker Borja Mayoral is the Europa League’s joint top scorer this season with seven goals but he starts on the bench tonight. Needless to say, if Roma will want to add firepower up front, he’s the man they’ll turn to.
Chris Smalling on Manchester United
The former Man Utd defender, Chris Smalling, spoke before the game about whether facing his old side will spur him on tonight and he said:
One hundred per cent. It’s a special game, it’s a semi-final and added on top of that, it’s against United.
“Obviously, being in Rome for almost the last two years, I know the importance of bringing home a trophy, it hasn’t happened for us for far too long.
“There are so many ingredients to this I don’t think there could be a bigger game for me to be a part of. I’m just thankful that I’m now fit and I’m able to contribute.“
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Roma
We have analysed [Roma] down to the ground since we drew them. We are one step away from the final. It is about putting things right. We have arrived with an almost fully-fit squad. Anthony Martial is still injured. We are going to go all out now. It will be a dream come true the day I can lift a trophy for this club as a manager. That is what we’re building for. It is ifs and buts, but our ambition is to finish this season with a trophy and to celebrate.”
Fortress Old Trafford
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.
The seventh meeting
This will be the seventh meeting between Manchester United and Roma in European competition. This will be the first meeting between the sides in the Europa League, the six previous match-ups have all been in the Champions League. The Red Devils have only lost one of those six meetings, with the other five ending in four wins and a draw.
Shaking off the semi-final curse
Roma tie is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s best chance to end Man United’s ‘semi-final curse’
Four semi-finals as United coach – four defeats. Will this season’s Europa League be any different?
This is a big tie for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United. The Red Devils have lost all four semi-finals they have played in under the former United player in the last 18 months. Another defeat in a semi-final would raise serious questions about Solskjaer’s ability to win trophies for Manchester United. Will they shake their semi-final curse this evening?
Roma’s road to the semi-final
Roma progressed to the knockout stages after coming top of Group A, their only defeat coming in a dead rubber against CSKA Sofia on the last matchday. In the knockout stages the Italian side have seen off Braga (5-1 on aggregate), Shakhtar Donetsk (5-1 on aggregate) and Ajax (3-2 on aggregate). They are now just two games away from their first European final in 30 years with only Manchester United in their way.
Roma’s coach, Paulo Fonseca, on tonight’s game
It’s a very important match. We don’t always get to a semi-final, we understand the importance of the moment. This match is against a great team, perhaps the favourites to win the competition. We know it will be difficult, we respect Manchester United, but we are ambitious.”
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