6 May 2009

Manchester United into Champions League final

8:45 am on 6 May 2009

Holders Manchester United have swept into the Champions League football final after demolishing Arsenal 3-1 in the second leg of their semi-final at the Emirates Stadium in London.

The victory secured a 4-1 aggregate win for United who killed off their Premier League rivals with two goals in the first 11 minutes.

The only blot on an otherwise perfect night for United was a late red card for midfielder Darren Fletcher which will keep him out of the final in Rome on May 27th.

United opened the scoring after eight minutes when Arsenal's teeenage defender Kieran Gibbs slipped over, allowing Korean midfielder Park Ji-sung a simple chance to find the net.

Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia then misjudged the flight of a 40-metre Cristiano Ronaldo free kick three minutes later which doubled United's lead.

Ronaldo's second goal from a rapid breakaway on 61 minutes sealed United's place in the final against Chelsea or Barcelona who meet in the second leg of their semi-final at Stamford Bridge tomorrow.

Robin van Persie's penalty, awarded for the foul by Fletcher which earned him the red card, gave Arsenal a late consolation.