Wednesday, 6 May 2009

CL - Last 4: Midweek Review

Barcelona will face Manchester United in the final of the UEFA Champions League in Rome after a controversial semi-final second leg tie against Chelsea.

UEFA Champions League Roma 2009Andres Iniesta's spectacular strike deep into stoppage time wrecked Chelsea's dreams of a second successive final against Manchester United amid chaotic scenes at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea looked to have kept Barca at bay after Michael Essien's 20-yard blockbuster inside the first ten minutes.

But with the home side hanging on - and fuelled by a sense of injustice after referee Tom Ovrebo rejected a succession of strong penalty appeals - Iniesta struck from the edge of the area to send 10-man Barca, who had Eric Abidal sent off, into the final on away goals.

On Tuesday, holders Manchester United eased into the final with a 3-1 win over English rivals Arsenal to remain on course to become the first team to retain the Champions League title.

Arsenal's hopes of wiping out a single-goal deficit from the first leg ended inside 11 minutes as United struck twice to silence an expectant crowd at the Emirates. Ji-Sung Park pounced on a defensive slip for a close-range finish after eight minutes, while Cristiano Ronaldo fired a 40-yard free-kick three minutes later.

Ronaldo's second goal of the game on the hour mark sealed the win, while Robin van Persie pulled a goal back for the home side from the penalty spot following Darren Fletcher's sending off.

The final will be played at Rome's Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday 27 May.

UEFA Champions League
Semi-final First Leg
Tuesday 28 April
Barcelona 0-0 Chelsea
Wednesday 29 April
Manchester United 1-0 Arsenal

Semi-final Second Leg
Tuesday 5 May
Arsenal 1-3 Manchester United (Agg: 1-4)
Wednesday 6 May
Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona (Agg: 1-1a)

Final (Rome)
Wednesday 27 May
Barcelona v Manchester United (1945)

Source: UEFA

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