Man Utd 2-1 Chelsea

Manchester United ended Chelsea's hopes of UEFA Champions League glory as strikes from Javier Hernandez and Ji-Sung Park sealed a 3-1 aggregate victory at Old Trafford.

Carlo Ancelotti's men huffed and puffed on Tuesday night but were unable to turn the quarter-final tie around, with Hernandez's close-range strike from a Ryan Giggs cross on the stroke of half-time extending the hosts' 1-0 lead from the first-leg and putting them firmly in control.

The Blues' evening then went from bad to worse in the 70th minute when Ramires was handed a second booking by Portuguese referee Olegario Benquerenca to leave the visitors with 10 men, but substitute Didier Drogba provided some relief soon after when he tore the ball past Edwin van der Sar to pump some life back into the encounter.

However, midfield ace Park took just seconds to restore United's two-goal lead, with Giggs playing provider once again as the South Korean international applied the finish to put the final nail in Chelsea's well-documented dream of European success.

The result sees Sir Alex Ferguson's men, still unbeaten in all competitions at home this term, advance to their fourth Champions League semi-final in five seasons, while they also remain on course for a coveted European, Premier League and FA Cup Treble.

The defeat will pile pressure on Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti, who took a gamble on 50million man Fernando Torres for the showdown, starting the Spaniard up front in place of Drogba, who was forced to make do with a spot on the bench.

His risk failed to pay off, however, as the misfiring striker once again failed to open his account before he was substituted for Drogba at the break, having now gone 11 games without a goal for the Blues.

Torres might have looked subdued but chances flooded thick and fast for Chelsea in the opening minutes, with the lively-looking Ramires showing early intent for the visitors when he bulldozed his way through the United defence and forced Edwin van der Sar to rush forward and collect early on.

The 12th minute saw another opportunity arise for the visitors as Torres climbed above Rio Ferdinand in the box but flicked Nicolas Anelka's cross wide, while the Frenchman scuffed a shot of his own beyond the post soon after.

More chances followed for Torres and Anelka but the first clear-cut opportunity of the clash fell to Frank Lampard, who made a brilliant run only to sidefoot his powerless shot straight at Van der Sar.

The momentum swung United's way in the 27th minute when Hernandez appeared to break the deadlock by applying a perfect headed finish to a powerful Wayne Rooney cross from the right, but the linesman controversially judged the Mexican to be offside and the goal was disallowed, although replays showed it to be an extremely tight call.

The young hitman had no such issues on the stroke of half-time and Chelsea's hard work was undone as Giggs linked up smoothly with John O'Shea before driving a fizzing ball into the box, leaving Hernandez with the seemingly effortless task of tapping it home from two yards to give the Blues a real mountain to climb going into the second half.

The Blues continued to press in the second half, with Drogba giving United a scare when his trademark powerful shot from long-range went narrowly wide, but things grew more desperate for the visitors as the minutes trickled down.

And Ramires made their uphill task more difficult after his dubious tackle on Nani from behind earned him his second booking of the clash and left the visitors one man down.

But Drogba gave Chelsea a lifeline in the 77th minute after he was brilliantly picked out by Michael Essien, chesting down the ball before unleashing a superb strike which eluded Van der Sar in the United goal.

Their resurgence was short-lived, however, as Giggs found Park straight from the restart and the midfielder drove the ball decisively past Petr Cech to restore the home side's two-goal advantage.

The visitors kept on pushing, with Florent Malouda producing a dangerous strike in the dying minutes which flew just beyond the post, but it was United that reigned victorious on the final whistle to put Chelsea's European ambition on ice for at least another year.

Source: Sky Sports
Date Published: 13 April 2011

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That's a hilarious article. Truly head-scratching logic.

- Neil

If a menstrual lemon was stood up at the alter by Fred the red you couldn't expect the same bitterness!!

- jonny

Cookster has hit the nail on the head. We owe both results to a hell of a lot of dirty work from Michael Carrick. He was utterly superb last night, crucial interceptions and challenges to hold up their counter attacks and very few misplaced passes. He has that imperious look about him again...long may it continue. Giggsy and Park's work rate in last 30 minutes was something to behold. I doubt the TV cameras did either justice. Especially the latter who looked out on his feet after the hour mark and seemed to have hit the wall after the adrenaline rush of getting his goal. Probably just needed a minute to switch to his famous third lung for the final stages. Edwin Van Der Sar... "one more year!" Great team effort, everyone played their part (including Sheasey who added 'abject fear' to proceedings whenever he was in possession, which is easy to appreciate in retrospect) Chelsea on the other hand probably only had two players who came out with any credit, Ivanovic and Essien. The rest of them played in fits and starts and pouted and sulked. Bring on Shalke!!!!!!!

- Bragg

I think Carrick has to have huge praise over the two legs also. He looked the part!

- Cookster68

It was a night of genuine epicness. I'm assuming having seen him in action up close now that no one bothers speaking to Park cos there's no fecking way in this world that sound is quick enough to catch the match winner.

- jonny

Until it no doubt gets taken off: [url:1nss0man][/url:1nss0man] And scroll down to the last item in the list...

- fenwar

How Rio managed to stay out there for the 90 minutes is beyond me...

- Darren

Viva Fernando Viva Fernando What a wasted bid And 50 million quid Viva Fernando...

- Darren