Sport Ronaldo breaks out and Roma break – Man Utd's 7-1 win remembered

11:30  29 april  2021
11:30  29 april  2021 Source:   goal.com

Cristiano Ronaldo proves costly AGAIN for Juventus in a free-kick wall

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Manchester United take on Roma in the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday. The Red Devils demolished the Italian side in a classic encounter back in 2007. Sir Alex Ferguson' s men romped to a 7 - 1 win in the Champions League quarters. The Scot called it the club' s 'best night' in one of Only minutes after the break - with Roma hoping for a bit of breathing space - United granted no such mercy. Giggs, who was sensational throughout, was the architect again as he pounced on a loose ball near the touchline and pinged a first time cross that rolled all the way through to Ronaldo at the back post.

Roma ' s support have been visiting the Trigoria training HQ in huge numbers this week ahead of the semifinal first -leg. “This is a very important match. You don't get to play a semi-final every day and we all know how important it is," said Fonseca in his press conference and on Sky Italia. “We saw the fans today, it' s important to feel that level of support. We want to fight for the fans, the city and the club." United have already won the Europa League and have been the favourites ever since dropping down from the Champions League. “We are up against a huge team, the favourites to win the competition.

Old Trafford will not bring Roma many happy memories when they return for their Europa League semi-final first leg against Manchester United on Thursday.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Alan Smith are posing for a picture: Cristiano Ronaldo and Alan Smith celebrate against Roma © Getty Images Cristiano Ronaldo and Alan Smith celebrate against Roma

The Giallorossi first made the trip to Manchester in April 2007, having won the home leg of their Champions League last-eight tie.

That had been the sides' first ever meeting and it remains Roma's sole win in six attempts. Three times they have lost at United and the pick of those matches, in 2006-07, saw a remarkable 7-1 humbling.

With the use of Opta data, we look back on that evening and what it meant for those involved.

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Manchester United host Roma in the Europa League semi-final first leg on Thursday evening. Sportsmail takes you through the all-important information ahead of kick-off. Manchester United host Roma in their Europa League semi-final first leg on Thursday evening as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to end run of four consecutive semi-final defeats. The Norwegian is yet to claim any silverware during his time as United manager, and he was dealt another blow in January as rivals Manchester City knocked them out of the Carabao Cup at the semi-final stage.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 12th Champions League goal of the season as Real Madrid took a firm grip on their last-16 tie with a 2-0 first leg win at AS Roma on Wednesday. Eurosport. Ronaldo took a fine pass from Marcelo on the left edge of the box and his shot took a deflection off Alessandro Florenzi and looped over goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny into the net just before the hour mark. Substitute Jese added the Spanish team' s second four minutes from fulltime with a solo run into the box and shot across the face of goal and inside the far post.

Roma's ruins

This was a major European quarter-final and Roma were set to be far from straightforward opposition for United.

The 2-1 win for the hosts at the Stadio Olimpico meant the Red Devils would have to overturn a first-leg deficit in a continental knockout tie for the first time since 1984 (excluding qualifiers). They certainly did that.

Roma actually had a greater share of possession at Old Trafford (53.7 per cent) and only attempted two shots fewer than United, but Francesco Totti squandered 10 of their 21. He at least teed up Daniele De Rossi for an exquisite consolation.

Although the Giallorossi have since also lost 7-1 to Bayern Munich in 2014 and 6-1 to Barcelona in 2015, they had not been beaten by more than four goals in Europe prior to this match.

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Man Utd No 7 shirt: Michael Owen in action (Image: GETTY). The former Liverpool striker scored five times in the Premier League for United but revealed he wasn’t the first choice to succeed Ronaldo . “[Antonio] Valencia had been offered the No 7 but he didn’t want it, so to speak. Sanchez, like his predecessors, has also failed to win over the United faithful, having scored just three times in the league since joining from Arsenal. The Chilean’ s future at Old Trafford is now in doubt as United plan to rebuild their squad under new boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this summer.

What did we learn from Man Utd ' s chaotic win at Brighton? Leandro Trossard is the first player to hit the woodwork three times in a Premier League match since Cristiano Ronaldo vs Get out of jail cards handed to Utd like confetti. Come May that could be a vital 3pts against their relgation rivals. Just when I was thinking Man U need their customary penalty, the ref remembered his instructions.

For United, it was their biggest European win since 1968 when Waterford United were defeated by the same scoreline. It still fell some way short of their record against foreign opposition, a 10-0 1956 demolition of Anderlecht.

Ronaldo's rise

In a breakout season, this was a breakout performance from Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Gonzalo Higuain et al. standing in front of a crowd:                      Successful foreign imports have written Premier League history over the years. From Didier Drogba to Thierry Henry, Sergio Aguero to Ruud van Nistelrooy, English clubs have shown that doing your shopping overseas can be the path to success.                                                                              That’s not always true though, of course, and there have been some spectacular flops over the years. This lot, however, had everything on their CV to suggest that goals were a guarantee, only to choke under the spotlight…

The winger – he was definitely still a winger at that stage – had previously failed to score in his 26 appearances in Europe's premier club competition, although he impressed in Rome in the first leg.

Goals later in the second leg changed the course of Ronaldo's Champions League career, but his early work would be alien to anyone who had only seen the superstar in action for Real Madrid or Juventus in recent seasons, prowling the final third.

As so often at that time, Ronaldo's speed and skill was key in leading United's breaks from deep. He completed eight of nine attempted dribbles in this match and a pass inside from the right found Michael Carrick for the opener.

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The United number seven was involved in the third goal for Wayne Rooney, too, driving United forward again, and then put Alex Ferguson's side out of sight.

More clinical than Totti with his own 10 attempts, Ronaldo raced up the right once more to drill in the fourth before half-time, breaking his Champions League duck with the first of a record 134 goals at this level and 67 in knockout matches to date.

He never looked back and the fifth goal was his, too, toeing in Ryan Giggs' low centre to reach 20 for a season for the very first time.

Ronaldo has made that mark in every subsequent campaign and there have since been a further 36 Champions League outings with two or more goals.

Smith's swansong

As Ronaldo took centre stage, there was a final flourish for a previous quarter-final scorer. Alan Smith, a star of Leeds United's 2000-01 run, was handed a rare start.

Smith's time at Old Trafford had not panned out as planned following a controversial move, his mediocre form in front of goal contributing to Ferguson's belief the England striker would be better suited to a battling midfield role.

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It was there that he suffered a career-altering leg break against Liverpool in February 2006.

As Ruud van Nistelrooy left for Madrid at the end of that season, Ferguson revealed the recovering Smith was "a player we intend to convert back to centre-forward after a spell in the midfield". But the ex-Leeds favourite found himself firmly behind Rooney, Louis Saha, Henrik Larsson and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the pecking order.

By the time Smith was named in the XI – in place of now United manager Solskjaer – against Roma, he had gone 507 days without a goal.

That drought ended with a beautiful right-footed finish, a reminder of what Smith once was, to put United two up, yet this was merely a last hurrah.

Although there was a first Premier League title and an FA Cup final appearance before the end of the campaign, there were no further goals and Smith then left for Newcastle United, where he failed to score once.

When the one-time £7million man finally found the net again, playing for MK Dons in League One in April 2012, 1,838 days had passed since that special Roma strike.

Roma 3-2 Manchester United (5-8 agg): Cavani double helps Solskjaer end semi-final curse .
Manchester United eased into the Europa League final as Edinson Cavani scored twice in a 3-2 second-leg loss to Roma.Despite United's commanding lead from the first leg, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fielded a strong side in the Italian capital and was rewarded when Edinson Cavani opened the scoring in the first half.

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