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AC Milan rout Manchester United to enter final
May 03, 2007 02:18 IST
AC Milan will meet Liverpool in the Champions League final for the second time in three seasons after beating Manchester United 3-0, for a 5-3 aggregate semi-final victory, at the San Siro on Wednesday.
Hopes of an all-English final in Athens on May 23 were dashed within the first half-an-hour on a rainy night in northern Italy as Milan took control of the match and booked their place in the final for the 11th time in their history and the third time in the last five seasons.
Brazilian Kaka, the top scorer in the competition, took his tally to 10 for the season when he gave Milan the lead with a well-struck drive from just inside the box after 11 minutes.
He was first to react to a back-header from Clarence Seedorf and Edwin van der Sar had no chance of saving his powerful low left-footed drive.
Seedorf, who went close to scoring after only three minutes, did find the net after 30 minutes when United failed to clear their lines with the ball eventually dropping to the Dutchman who evaded challenges from Darren Fletcher and Nemanja Vidic before volleying in from the edge of the box.
Substitute Alberto Gilardino wrapped the victory up 12 minutes from time when he broke free in space and swept the ball past van der Sar to make the game safe at 3-0.
Liverpool beat Milan 3-2 on penalties in the final in Istanbul in 2005 while Rafa Benitez's men secured their place in this year's showpiece after beating Chelsea 4-1 on penalties at Anfield on Tuesday after the teams drew 1-1 on aggregate.
Liverpool advanced to the final after beating Chelsea 4-1 on penalties in the second leg on Tuesday.
UEFA Champions League 2006-07: The Complete Coverage