Europa League: Manchester United cruise past Granada to set up AS Roma semi-final; Arsenal thump Slavia Prague

Agence France-Presse
·2 min read

Paris: Roma lined up a blockbuster Europa League semi-final clash with Manchester United on Thursday after holding Ajax to a 1-1 draw to go through to the last four 3-2 on aggregate.

Edin Dzeko's strike 18 minutes from time ensured the draw and passage for Paulo Fonseca's side, who were on the back foot for most of the match, and a showdown with United who strolled into the semis 4-0 after a 2-0 win over LaLiga outfit Granada at Old Trafford.

The other semi-final will see Arsenal face Villarreal, coached by former Gunners boss Unai Emery.

"I've never got to a semi-final before, so I'm very proud, especially as we are representing Italy right now," said Fonseca, who has been under pressure following a disappointing Serie A campaign.

"It's a source of pride for Roma and we are all very happy."

Italy's only remaining representative in Europe came into the clash at the Stadio Olimpico with a slender lead but two away goals from last week's first leg in Amsterdam.

Their European campaign looked in danger when Ajax teen Brian Brobbey was introduced for Antony at the break and the striker made an instant impact, racing onto Perr Schuurs pass three minutes after the restart and nipped the ball past an onrushing Pau Lopez.

However after Dusan Tadic's strike for the away side six minutes later was ruled out for a foul on Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the build up, Dzeko tipped the tie in Roma's favour.

The Bosnian was on hand to tap home the leveller which put Roma a goal ahead on aggregate after Riccardo Calafiori's low cross was deflected into his path.

With Ajax needing to score again to take the tie into extra-time the hosts were galvanised and managed to fend off Erik ten Hag's outfit, who will have to wait until next season for a shot at European glory.

"If you look at the overall tie we were the better side, but that doesn't mean anything," Ajax's Davy Klaasen told Dutch broadcaster RTL7.

"We knew they would be happy to defend their 2-1 lead."

Roma will be hoping to gain revenge on United for the 7-1 hammering they suffered at Old Trafford at the quarter-final stage of the Champions League in 2007.


Also See: Europa League: Manchester United ease to 2-0 win over Granada in quarter-final first leg; Arsenal held by Slavia Prague

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