Mon, Mar 08, 2004 - Page 20 News List

The Gunners take Portsmouth to task

EUROPEAN FOOTBALL Fredrik Ljungberg and Thierry Henry each scored twice as Arsenal raced into a 3-0 lead by half time and led 5-0 after 57 minutes into the match


Arsenal's Thierry Henry, right, and Portsmouths Matthew Taylor, left, battle during their FA Cup sixth-round match at Fratton Park, Portsmouth, England, Saturday.


Defending champion Arsenal marched into the FA Cup semifinal with a 5-1 demolition of Portsmouth at Fratton Park on Saturday.

Pompey's only reply in front of their own fans came in the final minute from veteran former Tottenham striker Teddy Sheringham.

"It wasn't easy at the beginning," said Henry who scored the first in the 25th minute. "But as soon as we scored a goal we looked comfortable."

Kolo Toure also hit the target as Arsenal, aiming to become the first club for 118 years to win the cup three straight times, reached the semifinal for a record 24th time.

Earlier Ruud van Nistelrooy scored twice as Manchester United made it 23 semifinal appearances by edging Fulham 2-1.

Millwall plays Tranmere and Sunderland hosts Sheffield United in two all-division one FA Cup quarterfinals today. The semifinal draw is on Monday.

Van Nistelrooy scored once in either half to keep United on track for its 11th FA Cup title and its first since 1999.

At Old Trafford, Fulham took the lead with a 23rd minute penalty, awarded when Luis Boa Morte was tackled by United defender Wes Brown.

Steed Malbranque converted, firing the ball into the top of the net as United's goalkeeper Tim Howard leapt the other way.

United leveled two minutes later with Nistelrooy's 25th goal of the season. The Dutchman volleyed the ball into the net from a Ryan Giggs cross.

Van Nistelrooy scored past his international teammate Edwin Van Der Sar again in the 62nd minute. Cristiano Ronaldo ran down the right and crossed for an advancing Van Nistelrooy to chip home.

In the weekend's only Premier League match, Birmingham beat Bolton 2-0 to rise to fifth -- level with fourth-placed Newcastle.

Birmingham is on course for the chance to qualify for next season's Champions League with its 2-0 win over Bolton.

The Blues scored from Mikael Forssell and Bryan Hughes against a Bolton side that's still recovering from its 2-1 League Cup final defeat to Middlesbrough last Sunday..

Spanish league

Top scorer Ronaldo left the field after pulling a muscle in his left thigh Saturday as 12th-place Racing Santander held leader Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw in the 27th round of the Spanish league.

Israel striker Yossi Benayoun scored the equalizer in the 32nd minute for Racing after Madrid midfielder Santiago Solari of Argentina had opened the scoring four minutes earlier.

Ronaldo, who left the match in the 74th minute, will miss Madrid's second leg Champions League match against Bayern Munich on Wednesday, according to team doctor Alfonso del Corral.

"Ronaldo will probably miss between two and three matches, he's definitely going to miss Bayern, the league match against Zaragoza and most likely the final of the Copa del Rey," Del Corral said.

The Brazilian striker leads the Spanish league with 22 goals.

Madrid remains in first place with 60 points from 27 matches, followed by Valencia with 54 and Deportivo with 50.

German League

Prolific Dutch striker Roy Makaay netted a pair of headers Saturday as Bayern Munich beat Leverkusen 3-1 to keep the pressure on front-runner Werder Bremen.

Makaay, Europe's leading scorer last season at Deportivo de La Coruna, scored in the air in the 39th and 76th minutes -- his 23rd goal in 32 matches for the German champions since donning the club's jersey this year.

Bayern can now turn its attention to next week's key Champions League match against Real Madrid, perhaps the hottest European match on tap after a 1-1 first leg between the two old rivals.

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