NEWS
Friday April 30 2021
Media watch: Bruno Fernandes takes his revenge on Serie A

Manchester United ‘don’t regret selling Smalling’ while Bruno Fernandes 'took his revenge on Serie A' against Roma, Italian media suggest.

Smalling joined Roma on a permanent deal in the summer after he had spent a season on loan at the Stadio Olimpico.

Yesterday, he returned to Old Trafford in the first leg of the Europa League semi-final but put in a disappointing performance, as Italian media pointed out.

The Englishman was one of the worst players on the pitch last night. ‘Manchester United don’t regret selling him,’ wrote Il Corriere dello Sport, while La Gazzetta dello Sport pointed out: ‘There must be a reason why they let him go.’

Smalling also caused a penalty kick that, according to Italian papers, should not have been awarded to the Premier League giants.

To be fair, most of the Roma squad got bad grades after the Old Trafford meeting.

Smalling’s fellow defenders Bryan Cristante and Roger Ibanez were as disappointing as the English defender and the same is true of Antonio Mirante, who replaced the injured Pau Lopez after just 28 minutes.

Manchester United, on the other hand, destroyed Roma with a stunning second-half performance.

Former Serie A stars Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes stepped up and the Portuguese midfielder was named MVP by each of the three Italian sports papers.

La Gazzetta dello Sport called him a ‘unique midfielder’ that ‘took his revenge on Serie A’ given that he was not appreciated as he would have deserved when he played for Novara, Sampdoria and Udinese.

Man Utd-Roma: player ratings from Italian papers

Gazzetta dello Sport

Manchester United: De Gea 6; Wan-Bissaka 6.5, Lindelof 7, Maguire 6.5, Shaw 6.5; McTominay 6.5, Fred 7 (Matic 83 N/A); Rashford 6 (Greenwood 76 7), Fernandes 8 (Mata 89 N/A), Pogba 7; Cavani 8

Roma: Pau Lopez 6 (Mirante 28 4.5); Smalling 4.5, Cristante 5, Ibanez 4.5; Karsdorp 5.5, Diawara 5, Veretout N/A (Villar 5 4.5), Spinazzola 6 (Peres 37 4.5); Pellegrini 6, Mkhitaryan 5.5; Dzeko 6

Corriere dello Sport

Manchester United: De Gea 6; Wan-Bissaka 6.5, Lindelof 6.5, Maguire 7, Shaw 6; McTominay 6.5, Fred 6.5 (Matic 83 N/A); Rashford 6 (Greenwood 76 6.5), Fernandes 8.5 (Mata 89 N/A), Pogba 7.5; Cavani 8

Roma: Pau Lopez 6 (Mirante 28 4.5); Smalling 4, Cristante 4, Ibanez 4.5; Karsdorp 5.5, Diawara 4.5, Veretout N/A (Villar 5 4), Spinazzola 6 (Peres 37 5); Pellegrini 6.5, Mkhitaryan 6; Dzeko 6

Tuttosport

Manchester United: De Gea 6; Wan-Bissaka 6, Lindelof 5.5, Maguire 5.5, Shaw 6.5; McTominay 6.5, Fred 6 (Matic 83 N/A); Rashford 6.5 (Greenwood 76 7), Fernandes 8.5 (Mata 89 N/A), Pogba 7.5; Cavani 7.5

Roma: Pau Lopez 6 (Mirante 28 4.5); Smalling 5, Cristante 5, Ibanez 5; Karsdorp 6, Diawara 5.5, Veretout 6 (Villar 5 6), Spinazzola 6.5 (Peres 37 5.5); Pellegrini 6.5, Mkhitaryan 6; Dzeko 6.5