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Manchester United revived by FA Cup win over Arsenal

Wayne Rooney and Rafael da Silva celebrate his goal in the 2-0 win over Arsenal at Old Trafford.
Wayne Rooney and Rafael da Silva celebrate his goal in the 2-0 win over Arsenal at Old Trafford.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Manchester United beat Arsenal 2-0 to reach FA Cup semifinals
  • Goals from Fabio and Wayne Rooney seal United's passage
  • Bolton win 3-2 at Birmingham in earlier quarterfinal Saturday

(CNN) -- A Wayne Rooney inspired Manchester United beat arch-rivals Arsenal 2-0 at Old Trafford Saturday to reach the semifinals of the English FA Cup.

Rooney was involved in the brilliant build-up to United's opener for Fabio da Silva in the 28th minute and scored early in the second half to clinch his side's passage.

The victory leaves the Red Devils on course for the domestic double, topping the English Premier League despite successive defeats to Chelsea and Liverpool and favorites to land the oldest cup competition in the world.

They play Marseille on Tuesday bidding to reach the last eight of the Champions League with the first leg drawn 0-0.

Earlier, United's north-west neighbors Bolton won 3-2 at Birmingham to make the last four.

Lee Chung-Yong headed a 90th winner after Owen Coyle's side had been pegged back to 2-2 by a late equalizer from veteran home striker Kevin Phillips.

We got our goals, luckily I pulled off a couple of saves and we defended well
--Edwin van der Sar
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Bolton had taken the lead through Johan Elmander's fine finish in the 21st minute before Cameron Jerome scored Birmingham's first equalizer in the 38th minute.

Kevin Davies converted a 66th-minute penalty to put Bolton ahead again only for Phillips to strike in the 80th minute.

Birmingham were looking for the domestic cup double after beating Arsenal in the League Cup final two weeks ago.

That Wembley defeat was the start of a difficult spell for Arsenal, who were beaten by Barcelona in midweek to end their Champions League hopes.

United also went into the heavyweight cup clash on a poor run and Ferguson responded by making several changes and including seven defensive players in his line-up.

But it paid off and one of them, Fabio, was on hand to knock home the loose ball after a Javier Hernandez header from a Wayne Rooney cross was only parried out by Manuel Almunia.

Rooney's goal in the 49th minute gave them a two-goal cushion which was needed as Edwin van der Sar made a series of excellent stops to deny Arsenal a route back into the tie.

Substitute Paul Scholes played a sublime pass to hand Rooney a great chance for a second in injury time, which he spurned, but was fortunate to stay on the field after receiving a yellow card and then tangling with Samir Nasri in an ugly incident.

Dutch veteran van der Sar was delighted by the victory in his farewell season.

"We got our goals, luckily I pulled off a couple of saves and we defended well," he told ITV Sport.

"It was important of course because we lost to Chelsea and Liverpool so the gap in the league is now non-existent."

Manchester City host Reading and West Ham take on Stoke Sunday in the other quarterfinals.