SPORTS

Champions League: Barcelona, Manchester United through to semis

Barcelona cruised into the Champions Leaguesemi-finals as they followed up a first-leg demolitionof Shakhtar Donestsk by winning inUkraine, uefa.com informs.

After a 5-1 victory in Spain, Lionel Messi putthe tie to bed with his 48th goal of the season – aSpanish record – when he slotted in Dani Alves’spass. Shakhtar had threatened early on whenDouglas Costa and Jadson tested Victor Valdes,but Barca were always superior.

Andriy Pyatov saved Ibrahim Afellay’s shot asthe visitors eased through 1-0.

Barcelona will now meet the winners ofTottenham v Real Madrid on Wednesday, withtheir Spanish arch-rivals favourites to progress aftera thumping 4-0 win in the first leg at the Bernabeu.

As in the first leg, they had to survive someearly Shakhtar pressure – but the Ukrainian side’sinability to take advantage of their initialsupremacy once again cost them dearly.

Roared on by a partisan crowd, many ofwhom had seen Shakhtar lose at the DonbassArena – their home since September 2009 – forthe first time against Obolon Kiev at the weekend,the hosts began with a real purpose andunsettled their illustrious opponents.

LUCESCU REVEALS MESSI’S BARCELONA WISH

Mircea Lucescu was left to rue FC ShakhtarDonetsk’s lack of application after bowing outagainst FC Barcelona, concluding that if LionelMessi wore orange his side would have won. FCShakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu was leftthinking what might have been had his side hadthe one thing missing from their UEFAChampions League quarter-final performancesagainst FC Barcelona: Lionel Messi. Sadly for theUkrainian outfit he does not and instead theArgentinian’s club record 48th goal of the seasonsealed a 6-1 aggregate triumph for the Catalangiants, whose coach Josep Guardiola is beginningto size up a possible treble.

“This season we did very well in theChampions League, reaching new heights. Ithink we gave our supporters a few happy memories.The experience gathered in the two matcheswith Barcelona will help us move on, and wewill enter next season in Europe better preparedfor top-class ties,” Lucescu said.

SOLID UNITED COMPLETE CHELSEA VICTORY

A goal in each half from Javier Hernández andPark Ji-Sung took United through to the semifinalsfor the fourth time in five seasons.Manchester United FC are one step away from aUEFA Champions League final appearance atWembley after overcoming ten-man Chelsea FC,Sir Alex Ferguson’s men securing a 3-1 aggregatevictory in this all-English quarter-final.

Javier Hernández doubled United’s aggregateadvantage on the stroke of half-time andalthough Chelsea shrugged off Ramires’ sendingoffwith a 77th-minute equaliser from substituteDidier Drogba, Park Ji-Sung extinguished theLondon club’s flickering hopes within 60 seconds.United can now look forward to a fourthsemi-final appearance in five years with only FCSchalke 04 or FC Internazionale Milano blockingtheir path to Wembley, scene of their firstEuropean triumph in 1968.

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