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Manchester United FC are one step away from a UEFA Champions League final appearance at Wembley after overcoming ten-man Chelsea FC, Sir Alex Ferguson's men securing a 3-1 aggregate victory in this all-English quarter-final.
Javier Hernández doubled United's aggregate advantage on the stroke of half-time and although Chelsea shrugged off Ramires' sending-off with a 77th-minute equaliser from substitute Didier Drogba, Park Ji-Sung extinguished the London club's flickering hopes within 60 seconds. United can now look forward to a fourth semi-final appearance in five years with only FC Schalke 04 or FC Internazionale Milano blocking their path to Wembley, scene of their first European triumph in 1968.
Sir Alex Ferguson said before this game that Chelsea had an "obsession" with winning the UEFA Champions League and for Carlo Ancelotti's team their quest must go on. They have suffered more painful defeats than this – not least to United in the 2008 final shoot-out – but will head south ruing their failure to profit from their early supremacy. They had arrived looking to become the first visitors to prevail here since their own 2-1 triumph on 3 April last year and, in a white-hot atmosphere, made a positive start.
Ancelotti had gambled on dropping Drogba and starting with Fernando Torres as a lone striker – supported by Nicolas Anelka, Frank Lampard and Florent Malouda – and the Spain forward nodded wide an Anelka cross after 12 minutes. He then set up Anelka to whistle a shot narrowly wide; it was not the Frenchman's only attempt. He sent another effort just over the crossbar and was also foiled by a superb tackle from Edwin van der Sar as he looked to round the Dutchman outside the box. Lampard, teed up by Malouda, spurned arguably Chelsea's best opportunity, however, shooting too close to Van der Sar.
A goal up from the first leg, United were not just sitting back. Wayne Rooney and Park, stationed behind Hernández, were looking lively and in the 27th minute Rooney's cross set up the young Mexican to head in only for an offside call to deny him. Hernández made up for that disappointment with the opening goal two minutes before the break. When Chelsea only half-cleared a free-kick, the impressive Rooney picked out Giggs out on the right and he exchanged passes with John O'Shea before bursting into the box to deliver a low ball across goal that Hernández, at the back post, buried into the roof of the net.
Ancelotti responded by sending out Drogba for the second half in place of Torres. The Ivorian flashed a shot narrowly wide from 20 metres but the tie looked to have slipped away from Chelsea when Ramires collected a second yellow card for a foul on Nani with 20 minutes remaining. Drogba instead revived their hopes by chesting down Michael Essien's through ball and finding the far corner of Van der Sar's net – but not for long. Inside less than 60 seconds Giggs had played in Park who fired across Petr Čech to secure United's passage.
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