05/05/2009 21:30, Report by Steve Bartram
Arsenal 1 United 3 (aggregate 1-4)
Bring on Barça or the Blues. United will be in Rome on 27 May to defend the Champions League trophy.
The Champions League holders turned in a flawless away performance to completely dismantle Arsene Wenger's Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, killing the tie through early goals from Ji-sung Park and Cristiano Ronaldo, before the Portuguese added gloss to the scoreline with a breakaway third.
The only sour note for United came through the late dismissal of Darren Fletcher. The Scot will miss the final after being incorrectly punished for bringing down Cesc Fabregas inside the United area, allowing Robin van Persie to hammer home a late penalty.
That made for a cruel end to the evening for Fletcher who, like each and every one of his colleagues, had been magnificent in overcoming the Gunners. It was in stark contrast to the manner in which the evening began, as United put the tie to bed inside 11 minutes.
Arsenal supporters had been encouraged to whip up a frenzied atmosphere to try and help their side overcome a single goal deficit brought about by John O'Shea's first leg strike at Old Trafford, but the Emirates' noise levels dipped irretrievably after seven minutes.
United's mantra had been obvious from the first whistle: counter attack. On the Reds' second such foray, Anderson slipped in Ronaldo, who had been detailed with the lone striker's role by virtue of his searing pace, and the Portuguese fizzed a low ball across the area. Teenage full-back Kieran Gibbs slipped at the crucial moment, allowing Park to pinch the ball and slip a shot over Manuel Almunia and into the goal.
The pocket of some 3,500 United fans behind the opposite goal burst into a frenzied celebration, one which was still ongoing when Ronaldo put the tie out of sight just four minutes later. Having won a free-kick