Man United storms into Champions League final

Teams records a convincing 3-1 victory over Arsenal in London.

manchester united 88 (photo credit: )
manchester united 88
(photo credit: )
Manchester United advanced to its second straight Champions League final on Tuesday night, recording a convincing 3-1 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in London. United entered the match with a 1-0 cushion from the first leg at Old Trafford last week, and scored twice within the first 11 minutes of the match to open a significant lead from which Arsenal could not return. Ji-Sung Park made the most of an Arsenal defensive lapse in the eighth minute to give the visitors the lead and three minutes later Cristiano Ronaldo blasted a superb free-kick beyond Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia to give United a crucial advantage, which the hosts could not close. Ronaldo scored his second of the match in the 61st minute to clinch United's place in the final in Rome on May 27 and manager Alex Ferguson will wait for Wednesday's result to see if his team will face Chelsea or Barcelona in Italy. United made a crucial early breakthrough thanks to a slip by Arsenal's left-back Kieran Gibbs. The 19-year-old failed to clear Ronaldo's cross in the eighth minutes and Park was perfectly placed to pick up the ball and slot it beyond 'keeper Almunia. Just three minutes later the reigning European champion broke the Gunners hearts. Ronaldo released one of his unstoppable free-kicks from 25 meters out, giving Almunia no chance. Arsenal was always going to struggle after that and didn't even manage to create a serious scoring opportunity in the first half. The start of the second half was a continuation of the first and in the 61st minute United was all but through to the final. An excellent break forward ended with Wayne Rooney laying the ball perfectly for Ronaldo to smash into the back of the net and give the visitors an unassailable lead. The hosts got a consolation goal in the 76th minute after Darren Fletcher brought down Cesc Fabregas in the box and Robin Van Persie slotted in the penalty. Fletcher was sent off for being the last man on defense and Ferguson will have to manage without him in the final in Rome in three weeks time.