Barring an unlikely Schalke victory at Old Trafford next week, Manchester United will contest the Champions League final at Wembley on May 28 after a one-sided encounter in Germany.
Ryan Giggs and the outstanding Wayne Rooney
scored United's goals in a three-minute second-half spell in the semi-final first leg at the Vetlins-Arena to register a 2-0 victory.
Prior to that, though, Sir Alex Ferguson's men had wasted an astonishing 13 chances to score - 11 of them coming before the break.
It leaves Schalke needing a three-goal triumph to progress to a meeting with either Real Madrid or Barcelona. On this evidence, United have absolutely nothing to worry about.
And for Rooney in particular, a fifth European Cup final for the Red Devils - on the ground where they won their first in 1968 - means personal redemption, having returned to the Gelsenkirchen arena where he was sent off on his last visit for England, to produce a wondrous performance that confirmed his renaissance beyond any doubt.
As United trudged in at half-time, they cannot have known whether to laugh or cry. Their pace, power and precision was simply too much for Schalke, who were opened up with a regularity barely credible at this level of the game and were indebted to the magnificence of Manuel Neuer in goal.