Mon, Mar 14, 2011 - Page 20 News List

Resurgent Manchester United send rivals Arsenal packing

AFP, LONDON

English striker Wayne Rooney of Manchester United, left, vies with French defender Bacary Sagna of Arsenal during their FA Cup quarter-final soccer match at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

Manchester United got their spluttering season back on track with a 2-0 win against Arsenal in their FA Cup quarter-final at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side had lost three of their last five Premier League matches, but goals from Fabio da Silva and Wayne Rooney restored the feel-good factor and booked a place in the Wembley semi-finals.

While United’s morale will have been lifted by victory against a major rival, Arsenal’s campaign is in danger of imploding.

The Gunners now have only the Premier League title to aim for after a miserable two weeks, which has seen them lose the League Cup final to Birmingham and crash out of the Champions League and FA Cup.

United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar admitted it was important for his team to get back to winning ways.

The 40-year-old has already announced his intention to retire at the end of the season and, asked if he was tempted to change his mind, he insisted: “No, definitely not.”

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger -confirmed Swiss defender Johan Djourou would be out for the rest of the season after being stretchered off with a dislocated shoulder.

Ferguson sent out a slightly weakened team, which included seven defenders as he rested players ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League second leg against Marseille, while Wenger played his strongest available 11. It was Ferguson’s selection gamble that paid off.

In the day’s other quarter-final, Lee Chung-yong fired Bolton into the FA Cup last four as the South Korean’s late goal clinched a 3-2 win over Birmingham at St Andrew’s.

Owen Coyle’s side looked to have been denied a place in the last four when Kevin Phillips hit a late equalizer for Birmingham, but Bolton midfielder Lee headed the winner in the 90th minute to send the visitors to the Wembley semis.

Bolton had taken the lead through Johan Elmander’s cool finish in the 21st minute, before Cameron Jerome lashed in Birmingham’s first equalizer in the 38th minute.

Kevin Davies converted a 66th--minute penalty, awarded after Curtis Davies fouled the Bolton striker, only for Phillips to scoop in a superb equalizer with 10 minutes to play.

However, Birmingham’s dreams of adding the FA Cup to the League Cup they won against Arsenal last month came to an end when substitute Lee ran onto Davies’ header and nodded past Ben Foster.

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