Manchester United produced one of the greatest European performances of all time at Old Trafford, defeating AS Roma 7-1 and marched on the UEFA Champions League semi-final.

United will meet AC Milan or Bayern Munich in their first semi-final since 2002.

Roma with the 2-1 lead from first leg in Rome, started brightly and looked more likely to open the scoreline at Old Trafford. Francesco Totti was just a feet away from finding the net, but United kept its nerve and soon… things changed.

Cristiano Ronaldo found spaces for Michael Carrick, who spotted Roma goalkeeper Alexander Doni off-the-line and curled in a ball into the net on 16th minute. It’s Carrick’s first Champions League goal, and United’s confidence were boosted.

The 2nd goal was a team-work gem; Wayne Rooney won the ball for Carrick to initiate the attack from his own half, Gabriel Heinze got the passed with his surging run, gave the ball to Ryan Giggs, whose cross found Alan Smith, who make no mistake to score United’s 2nd of the night.

It’s great to see Smith back in scoring; that was his first United’s goal since November 2005. He had a tough 14 months nurturing from his horrific injury.

Roma’s nightmare was not over though. Just a couple minutes later, Ronaldo started the counter attack, got passed 2 players and laid the ball to Smith, who found the surging Giggs on the right. Giggs produced a great cross, and Rooney wasted no chance to chip the ball into the bottom corner.

Manchester United 3, Roma 0… and it was just 19 minutes into the game.

Roma didn’t give up just yet, they tried to fight back but United defence did well to nullify all the attacks.

The killer blow came just before half time; Giggs with the through-ball to Ronaldo, who made some run and found the net at the near post. Doni, Roma’s could have done better… but it’s “Thank you very much” from Ronaldo, who scored his first ever Champions League goal.

Half time – Manchester United 4, Roma 0.

I have to mention Darren Fletcher as well; he did all the donkey’s work at midfield… winning possessions, passing the ball around and allowed his team-mates to show their attacking flair.

Rooney almost extended United’s lead just minutes after restart; Doni did well this time to parry the ball away for a corner. The resulting corner was only half cleared… Rooney laid back the ball to Giggs, who made another good cross, and Ronaldo couldn’t miss from close range. Manchester United up 5-0 on 49th minute.

Carrick then scored his 2nd and probably the best of the night on the hour mark; Heinze with the pass, and Carrick cannoned a shot to the far corner, leaving Doni with no chance at all.

Roma did crawl one back on 69th minute. It’s a quite celebration, but it was nonetheless a great goal as well. Totti with a nice cross, Daniele de Rossi on the volley despite crowded with defenders, and caught Edwin Van der Sar by surprise.

Manchester United got the last laugh as Patrice Evra found himself on the scoresheet on 81st minute.

Manchester United 7-1 AS Roma.
On aggregrate, Manchester United 8-3 AS Roma.

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