Manchester United have at least one foot in the Europa League final after hitting Roma six times on Thursday night.
With a place in next month’s centerpiece in Gdansk, United are firmly in the driver’s seat ahead of next week’s comeback.
Portuguese playmaker Bruno Fernandes put Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in front in ten minutes at Old Trafford.
But the hosts were forced to work for an eye-catching victory that bolstered their hopes of securing a first trophy under Solskjaer this season.
Roma initially fought back to lead 2-1 at half-time thanks to goals from captain Lorenzo Pellegrini and ex-Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko, the first of those strikes coming from the penalty spot.
However, it was one-way traffic on the restart as Edinson Cavani scored twice ahead of other goals from Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood.
In the other semi-final clash, Spain’s Villarreal side resisted Arsenal’s return to lead 2-1 ahead of their second leg at Emirates Stadium.
But what are United’s chances of winning the competition next month?
According to famous supercomputer FiveThirtyEight, such a landslide victory for Solskjaer’s team last night means they now have more than a 99% chance of reaching the final in Poland.
The probability that United will win the Europa League is 62%.
In contrast, injured semi-final opponents Roma had less than a 1% chance of being able to reverse their last four clashes and ultimately lift the trophy at Gdansk Stadium on May 26.
As it stands, Villarreal is rated at 62% for hitting the centerpiece – and 22% for hitting it squarely.
Offered hope by a penalty from the late Nicolas Pepe, Arsenal is third favorite for the additional competition.
Indeed, the supercomputer gives them a 38% chance of joining Premier League rival United in Poland – but they only have a 15% chance of standing out from the other three clubs involved.
How does the supercomputer work?
FiveThirtyEight uses SPI rankings, which have an offensive and defensive component to determine which team will win a specific match.