Edin Dzeko returned to Manchester – along with Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan – and scored his SIXTH goal at Old Trafford… but the Roma striker’s finish will count for very little after roaring United comeback
- Edin Dzeko scored on his return to Manchester but it was in vein for Roma
- Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were returning back to Old Trafford
- The English centre back gave away a penalty after fouling Edinson Cavani
- REPORT: Man United complete a storming comeback victory against Roma
Loves a goal at Old Trafford, Edin Dzeko. Another one for the collection and his record since leaving England six years ago has suggested he might have had more to give over here before departing.
Pity for him it did not matter, although a classic Dzeko production it was nevertheless, bundling in to present Roma with a second away goal. That is six for him in this stadium now.
It felt, for a spell, as if it might be his most significant against Manchester United – even more than the brace during Manchester City’s 6-1 rout in 2011.
Edin Dzeko scored for Roma against Manchester United on Thursday, though it did not matter
The ex-Manchester City striker bundled in Roma’s second away goal in a positive first-half
But Roma were battered and bruised, three men – including their goalkeeper – hobbling off before half-time. Weary, they saw the tie well and truly taken away from them and Dzeko’s finish will count for very little.
He was one of three men with a combined age of 98 back in Manchester and there were a few points to prove.
The Bosnian is also attempting to demonstrate his worth after being stripped of the captaincy in January following a blazing row with manager and flat cap enthusiast, Paulo Fonseca.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s two seasons at United were pockmarked by confusion as to where best he be deployed. Nobody was quite sure what he was. Arsenal endured similar issues with him.
Roma’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan returned to Old Trafford following his two seasons at United
The biggest night was for Chris Smalling, though.
Injured in the weeks leading up to this semi-final, the man they label ‘Smaldini’ battled for fitness and strode out at his old home for the first time since leaving a scapegoat two years ago.
On the right of a back three, Smalling’s task was tricky. Centre halves often dislike operating as the spare man, especially with the looming presence of someone like Paul Pogba loitering in their zone.
Chris Smalling’s task was tricky and he gave away a penalty when he fouled Edinson Cavani
There were occasions when the 31-year-old was caught, drawn into following Pogba, but that is what the Frenchman can do to you.
Smalling was later left shaking his head, considering himself unfortunate to have given the hosts a penalty when sliding in on Edinson Cavani, clipping him when the ball had already flown by.
It looked slightly harsh, but perhaps that sadly rather sums up Smalling’s relationship with this stadium.
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