Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has spoken out after his side’s 3-2 defeat to Roma on Thursday night. The Red Devils reached the Europa League final, despite the loss. Edinson Cavani was a standout performer for the Red Devils, scoring twice to take his tally to seven goals from his last six matches for the club.
Manchester United went into the match against Roma 6-2 up from the first leg, with Bruno Fernandes and Cavani both on target during that showdown.
And while the Red Devils lost against the Serie A side in the return fixture at the Stadio Olympico, they still made it through to the Europa League final.
Cavani put United ahead in the 39th minute, expertly smashing home from the edge of the box.
But Roma then turned the match around, with Edin Dzeko and Bryan Cristante both on target.
United levelled through Cavani, with the Uruguayan heading past Antonio Mirante after a pinpoint delivery from Bruno Fernandes.
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And though the Red Devils lost courtesy of Nicola Zalewski’s late strike, they still made the final regardless.
United will be looking to win their first trophy under Solskjaer, who had overseen five semi-final defeats prior to the tie.
And, speaking after the game, he hailed David De Gea by saying: “Luckily we have one of the best goalkeepers in the world.”
On Cavani, he added: “His second goal is typical of him and what he has done throughout his career.”
Solskjaer did, however, express his unhappiness with the fixture schedule – with the club’s matches piling up following the postponement of their clash with Liverpool.
“It feels good to be in the final,” he said.
“We played one very, 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 the best keepers in the world. We are in the final and are looking forward to 26 May.
“It [the fixtures]’s are 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.”
Harry Maguire didn’t have the easy night he’d hoped for.
But the England international was happy after the game, saying: “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.
“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. Edinson scored two great goals and his movement and work rate without the ball is excellent.
“His second goal is typical of him and what he has done throughout his career.”
United will face Villarreal in the final after the La Liga side overcame Arsenal to progress.
And Martin Keown has slammed the Gunners, labelling the defeat as a ‘bit of an embarrassment after they lost 2-1 on aggregate.
“It’s a huge job at this football club,” he said.
“His [Mikel Arteta’s] inexperience has perhaps cost him. He’s still manager, but it felt this was the rescue package and his players didn’t turn up.
“He [Arteta] was outsmarted by the previous manager [Unai Emery] which is a bit of an embarrassment.
“We looked lost. We couldn’t get out and they made us nervy. We haven’t really laid a glove on them and we haven’t gone down fighting.
“They seemed almost prepared to let the game flow away and I think that does come from the manager.”