Ole Gunnar Solskjaer semi-final jinx is over and he is now within touching distance of his first trophy as Manchester United boss.

After four semi-final exits, Solskjaer has finally cleared that hurdle and led United to the Europa League final on May 26 in Gdansk, where they will face Villarreal.

But United were indebted to David De Gea, who made a series of vital saves, particularly in the second-half, to single-handedly stop Roma from staging one of the great European comebacks.

De Gea, now reduced to playing in the Europa League with Dean Henderson preferred in the Premier League, provided a timely reminder of his enduring class.

Solskjaer ended his semi-final jinx at Stadio Olimpico
Solskjaer ended his semi-final jinx at Stadio Olimpico

After Roma laid siege to the United goal just after the hour, it took Edinson Cavani's second goal of the night, in the 68th minute, to ease their nerves and confirm their safe passage to the final.

Even after that, United conceded a third goal on the night to lose the game, but their five-goal blitz in the first leg at Old Trafford, which saw them win 6-2, was enough to see them through.

United will start the final as favourites, as they aim to win a first trophy since 2017, the Europa League the last time they had their hands on silverware, under former boss Jose Mourinho.

The four-year wait is the longest United have endured since 1990, when victory in the FA Cup, the first trophy of Sir Alex Ferguson's glittering reign, ended a five-year run without silverware.

Cavani was on target twice for the Red Devils
Cavani was on target twice for the Red Devils

Despite United's commanding first-leg lead, Solskjaer was taking nothing for granted, referencing Roma's epic Champions League quarter-final comeback in 2018.

From 4-1 down against Barcelona after a first leg trouncing at the Nou Camp, Roma won the return leg 3-0 at home, to go through on away goals.

There was to be no repeat of that shock here, although midway through the second-half, as Roma peppered United's goal, with De Gea repelling them, Solskjaer must have feared the worst.

Roma came out of the blocks, creating two early chances, De Gea saving well from Gianluca Mancini, with ex-United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan heading into the side netting.

De Gea had one of his busiest games of the season against the spirited Serie A side
De Gea had one of his busiest games of the season against the spirited Serie A side

De Gea then produced a fine save from Lorenzo Pellegrini, while Edinson Cavani, who had spurned two early chances, made it third time lucky in the 39th minute to open the scoring.

Bruno Fernandes flicked the ball on to Fred, who in turn found Cavani, who fired an unstoppable shot past Antonio Mirante and into the net.

It was Cavani's sixth goal in as many games and further evidence of how vital it is for United to keep hold of the prolific striker - out of contract this summer - next season.

But Roma threatened another historic comeback by scoring twice in four minutes, Edin Dzeko grabbing the first, then Bryan Crisante finding the net with a fine strike.

Those goals gave Roma fresh hope, with De Gea needing to make three vital saves in quick succession to prevent the hosts from making it an anxious finale for United.

Cavani eased any nerves United had with his second goal, a header from a Fernandes cross, which halted Roma's momentum.

There was time for substitute Nicola Zalewski to grab the winner, while De Gea was again called upon to save another goal-bound effort from Crisante.

But it is United who march on to the final, where Solskjaer will look to build upon the progress of his second full season in charge by laying hands on his first trophy.

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