Arsenal 1 United 3 (agg 1-4): Ronaldo and Park blow away Gunners
After all that talk of penalties at the end of what was supposed to be the ultimate encounter between Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger, Arsenal lasted about as long as Ricky Hatton. Two blows, 10 minutes, game over and dream, for Wenger anyway, at an end. This is why Manchester United are the champions of England, Europe and the world and why they are now within touching distance of becoming the first team successfully to defend the European Cup in the modern era. Not to mention why they could be celebrating an unprecedented quadruple if an 11th Barclays Premier League title comes before their appearance in Rome.. If their celebrations were soured on this occasion by the injustice of Darren Fletcher's red card, Ferguson's remarkable side should still reflect on an evening when they were brilliant in their brutality. 'We are one kick from the final,' declared Ferguson on the eve of this contest, but they threw in two more for good measure. They crushed the ambition of this young Arsenal team with two quick goals and a beating so savage it revealed to Wenger just how much work remains before he can even think about more silverware. Wenger might point to the misfortune Arsenal suffered when Kieran Gibbs slipped and so allowed Ji-sung Park to strike after eight minutes. He might even point at Manuel Almunia for failing to save what still amounted to yet another wonderful free-kick from Cristiano Ronaldo two minutes later.
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