Manchester United eased past Granada beating them 2-0 in both legs to set up a 2020-21 UEFA Europa League last-four meeting with AS Roma. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side made the semifinals of all competitions last season but failed to progress beyond that. This season, United lost in the Carabao Cup semifinals as well and were knocked out by Leicester City in the FA Cup quarterfinals.

The last time Manchester United were in a final, they ended up winning the title, which was the Europa League under Jose Mourinho. Solskjaer will want to snap his losing streak in the last 4 and go one step ahead by making the finals of the European competition.

United are tipped as favourites now with Villarreal facing a struggling Arsenal as Unai Emery reunites with his former club in the other semifinal.

Manchester United 2-0 Granada (Aggregate Score: 4-0)

The Red Devils’ progress to a fifth was never in doubt after Edinson Cavani scored a wonderful left-footed shot from a Paul Pogba flicked header in the 6th minute to put the home team up 1-0 and 3-0 on aggregate, following a comfortable 2-0 victory in Spain last week.

United scored a second in stoppage time when Jesus Vallejo unfortunately headed into his own net from Alex Telles cross that substitute Juan Mata brushed ever so slightly that caught the Granada defender unawares as it hit him and found its way past Rui Silva in goal.

“We will relish the chance to go to a final,” said Solskjaer, who has helped United make significant strides as they sit 7 points clear in 2nd place in the Premier League after finishing 3rd last season. They are 11 points behind league leaders Manchester City but do have a game in hand.

“We want to use disappointments from the defeats we have had to motivate us to get to the final.

“The next step for this team is to get to a final and win a trophy. That will give this group of players something extra.”

AS Roma came through a nervy night at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome against Ajax, but they did enough to hold onto a 1-1 draw that saw them through to the semifinals. The Italian club won the first leg in Amsterdam by beating the Dutch champions 2-1.

This means that a reunion for Manchester United’s old boys Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Chris Smalling, is in store and will surely be a stern test for the Premier League giants.

Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba captained Manchester United against Granada and assisted the goal. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

If the Red Devils fail to win silverware this season, it will be four seasons without a trophy, matching the four barren campaigns between United’s FA Cup wins in 1985 and 1990, with the latter marking the start of Sir Alex Ferguson’s era of winning trophies.

United’s victory was surprisingly only their second in 11 home games against Spanish opposition but Granada were no match really for the hosts.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said, “Granada do give you a game. It’s a physical game, they throw people forward. You have to defend in these kind of games.”

Solskjaer on bringing Paul Pogba off at half time after he received a yellow card in the first half: “Sometimes, Paul wants to win so much… he went into a couple of tackles after his yellow card but I thought I don’t want to risk that [him being sent off] even though he played so well. We missed three today [through suspension] (Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay). The season has been hard enough as it is.”

Him talking about playing Roma in the semis: “I’ve not seen too much of them. I knew they played two good games against Ajax. They defend well, as Italian teams always do. We all know Edin Dzeko so every ball into the box is a dangerous one.

“We are looking forward to it. We’re in the semis. It feels like a proper European tie because Roma is a club with lots of history. We’ve done well against Italian sides before. If we can finish the season with a trophy that’d be great.”

United have now reached their 18th semi-final in all European competitions. Only Liverpool (19) have appeared in more semis among English sides. They will want to at least go one step further this season.