Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani each scored twice as Manchester United took a huge stride towards the Europa League final by coming from behind to thrash an injury-hit Roma 6-2 at Old Trafford.
Fernandes’s early opener was quickly cancelled out by Lorenzo Pellegrini’s penalty before Edin Dzeko put Roma in front at half-time.
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But the Italians lost three players to injury before the break and United took advantage with a dominant second-half performance.
Two predatory finishes from Cavani turned the tie around before Fernandes also fired home from the spot.
Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood rounded off the scoring in a sensational second-half performance.
Only a second leg collapse will prevent them from facing Villarreal or Arsenal in Gdansk on 26 May.
In the other semi-final, Villarreal claimed a narrow advantage against Arsenal with a 2-1 home victory in the first leg, although they will feel frustrated at letting the London club off the hook.
First-half goals by Manu Trigueros and Raul Albiol put the Spanish club in command and it looked bleak for the visitors when Dani Ceballos was sent off just before the hour mark.
But the tie remains delicately balanced ahead of next week’s return in London.