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Killer Park

Posted: 12 Apr 2011 09:58 PM PDT

Giggs hails pacy Korean ace's knockout blow to Chelsea

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 12:33:00


LUCKY NO. 13: Hernandez (left) celebrates with Park after the Korean scored the winning goal

LONDON: Manchester United veteran midfielder Ryan Giggs admitted Park Ji-sung's goal "knocked the stuffing" out of 10-man Chelsea in the 2-1 win in the second-leg quarterfinal at Old Trafford this morning for a place in the last four.

With United holding a 1-0 lead from the firstleg at Stamford Bridge, Mexican striker Javier Hernandez crashed home the opening goal just before halftime from Giggs' cross.

When Chelsea midfielder Ramires was dismissed in the 70th minute after receiving his second yellow card, their hopes seemed allbut over.

However, substitute striker Didier Drogba reduced the deficit in the 77th minute before Park immediately went up the other end to reclaim United's two-goal cushion and end the contest as the Red Devils won 3-1 on aggregate.

"Chelsea gave us a great game but you're always pleased to get into the semifinals," Giggs told Sky Sports.

"We expected them to come at us, they needed to score, we knew we needed to try to score too, to take the pressure off us. I think we deserved it, we played well down there, had a good gameplan and stuck to it and tonight got a couple of great goals.

"The second goal came at exactly the right time, they had just scored, so us scoring so quickly knocked the stuffing out of them, really," said Giggs, who had a great game as well.

United manager Alex Ferguson said they played very well against a very good team.

"Chelsea played a big part in the game. I thought we were the better team on the night. In a team game we had some fantastic performances, Park, Chicharito (Hernandez), all over, noone let us down."

Ferguson admitted his side were lucky to score so quickly after Chelsea's equaliser.

"That was the break we got in the game, to be honest, I thought it was a cheap goal to lose," he said.

Ferguson also hailed the enduring brilliance of Giggs, who set up both goals as United — likely to meet Schalke in the last four — set their sights on the final at Wembley on May 28.

"It's been said so many times about Giggs, but he's incredible, a unique person and player. His contribution was big because in terms of the part he played in the goal in the first-leg and in the goals tonight.

"His experience and composure were vital. But like I had said the whole team played with great credit."

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Let the ‘El Clasico’ party begin, says Villa

Posted: 12 Apr 2011 09:57 PM PDT

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 12:33:00

DONETSK: Barcelona striker David Villa (pic) is looking forward to playing bitter rivals Real Madrid four times in the space of just 18 days in three different competitions.

The Spanish champions qualified for the semifinals of the Champions League this morning after defeating Shakhtar Donetsk 6-1 on aggregate in the last eight.

Real themselves are on course to making it through to the last four as they lead Tottenham 4-0 in their quarter- final tie, and should they progress then they will meet Barca for a place in the final.

That will set up two El Clasicos in the Champions League and will be augmented by their meeting in the Primera Liga on Saturday and then in the final of the Copa del Rey next week.

However, Villa is relishing the chance to play four times against Jose Mourinho's team.

"Real have a favourable result (against Spurs) and if we play four times against them, then there is nothing better for a spectacle. Our fans are happy and we must prepare for a party now."

Villa has failed to score in a competitive game for the Catalans since the end of February but is confident he can find the target soon.

"The goal will come," said the 29-year-old Spain international.

"The team are winning and that is important."

Villa joined Barca from Valencia in the summer of last year and has scored 17 goals in 30 appearances in Primera Liga and three in nine matches in the Champions League.

Teammate Sergio Busquets believes now is the time to start looking toward Saturday's highly-anticipated clash which he believes will decide the title.

"Now we can start thinking about El Clasico. It will be a tough game but if we win, it could decide the league."

Busquets once again started the game against Shakhtar in the heart of defence, a role he has occupied regularly since Carles Puyol and Eric Abidal were ruled out with injury and illness respectively.

"For me it's best to play midfield but if the team need it, I can play anywhere," said the versatile defensive player.

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