Reigning English Premier League and UEFA champions Manchester United moved closer to repeating last seasons accomplishments, advancing to the Champions League final in Rome, and only four points shy of clinching the EPL title yet again. Could this be another dream season for the Kings of Europe?
The Red Devils went into the Emirates Stadium leading 1-0 on aggregate scoring from the first stage of the semi-finals of the Champions League. John O'Shea scored the lone goal at Old Trafford. This was enough to catapult United with just the edge they needed going into the Emirates stadium.
Cristiano Ronaldo and company went into the Emirates with one goal, coming out on top. The Red Devils started off shaky, Arsenal came in pounding the ball for the first seven minutes. All went Manchester's way once Ronaldo sent a rocketing pass causing Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs to slip and fall in the penalty area, resulting in Ji-Sung Park's goal in the eighth minute.
Just three minutes later, Ronaldo unleashed a 40 yard free kick that soared to the back of the net just past the fingertips of Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia. Ronaldo was not done just yet.
Sixteen minutes into the second half, the Red Devils went on a counterattack of Arsenal, Ronaldo sent the ball flying to the speedster Park, Park sent it over to Rooney, Rooney crossed it back over to Ronaldo. Ronaldo unleashed yet another beauty past Almunia, No. 25 of the season, to put United on top 3-0.
Robin Van Persie scored the lone goal of the series for Arsenal due to the red card of United's Darren Fletcher's challenge on Cesc Fabregas. As a result, Fletcher will miss the final against Barcelona in Rome. Manchester United have filed an appeal with UEFA but it was not overturned.
In the EPL, Manchester United beat local rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford 2-0, Sunday. Ronaldo scored off a free kick in the twentieth minute after Dimitar Berbatov was fouled. Berbatov was not done just yet; just before halftime, Berbatov sent a powerful ball down to Carlos Tevez, who had been on a long break, and put it in the back of the net putting United up 2-0.
The second half was quiet. City tried to spark a few scoring opportunities, but United goalkeeper Edwin Van Der Sar kept them out the net, while his team pounded the ball the other way offensively.
Manchester United are only four points from clinching the EPL title for the third straight season. The Red Devils can clinch the title this Saturday with a win and a draw. The schedule includes another Lancashire derby with Wigan on Wednesday and Arsenal at Old Trafford on Saturday.
The Red Devils are preparing for the road to Rome. They will be defending their "Kings of Europe" title against Barcelona who beat Chelsea 1-1 on aggregate. Barcelona propelled into the final because their goal was tiebreaker for scoring away at Stamford Bridge in extra time.
By the looks of the scenarios, Manchester United are closer and closer to completing yet another dream season. But the question is, can the Kings be dethroned?