Holders Manchester United remain on course to become the first side to retain the Champions League, as two goals in the first 11 minutes saw them defeat Arsenal 3-1 for a 4-1 aggregate victory and a place in the final against either Chelsea or Barcelona in Rome.
A carnival atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium saw the home fans optimistic that last week's 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford could be overturned, but those hopes were cruelly dashed as two individual mistakes allowed United to take a foothold in the game -- a position they never looked likely to relinquish.
Arsenal went into the match unbeaten in their last 27 home matches in Europe, since Chelsea defeated them 2-1 at Highbury in 2004, and had yet to taste European defeat at the Emirates, but that proud record always looked in doubt from the moment United took an eighth-minute lead.
Cristiano Ronaldo played a dangerous ball from the left into the Arsenal penalty area and young Gunners left-back Kieran Gibbs, who has deputized superbly for French international Gael Clichy in recent weeks, lost his footing -- allowing Ji-Sung Park to collect the ball and fire past goalkeeper Manuel Almunia.
The goal, the first Arsenal had conceded at home in Europe this season, justified manager Alex Ferguson's decision to select Park ahead of Carlos Tevez in the only change to the United side from last week's victory at Old Trafford. Read full article »