Your guide to the semi-final

THE ROAD TO THE SEMI-FINALS

The Reds are unbeaten in Europe after dropping out of the Champions League just prior to Christmas, having seen off Real Sociedad (4-0 on aggregate), AC Milan (2-1) and Granada (4-0) to make it to this stage. Thursday’s opponents have been in the Europa League since the group stages, having qualified by finishing fifth in Serie A last season. 

The Giallorossi breezed through Group A, collecting 13 of the possible 18 points against Young Boys, Cluj and CSKA Sofia. In the knockout rounds, they dispatched Braga and Shakhtar Donetsk equally convincingly, winning both ties 5-1 on aggregate, but were given a real test in the quarter-finals by Ajax, despite a 2-1 victory in Amsterdam. When Dusan Tadic hit the net a week later to seemingly make it 2-0 on the night at the Stadio Olimpico, it looked like the Dutch side had turned the tie around, but the Serbian’s effort was ruled out by VAR and Edin Dzeko popped up moments later to send Roma through.

RECENT FORM

United have performed strongly after the March international break, winning five straight games in all competitions before Sunday’s goalless draw with Leeds United at Elland Road. That run has helped us to consolidate second position in the Premier League and make the semi-finals of the Europa League for the third time in five years.

The picture in April has been a little less encouraging for the Giallorossi, the Ajax tie aside. Roma lost their last two league games before the break and have won just one of five Serie A fixtures since – a 1-0 success over Bologna – to leave Paulo Fonseca’s men with an uphill task in terms of qualifying for Europe next season. A 3-2 defeat at Cagliari on Sunday means the capital club are now six points behind city rivals Lazio, who have a game in hand and occupy the final European position in the league.

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