Soccer Break Thursday – United roll on

May 5, 2011

Manchester United just keep on winning despite a sluggish season by their usually high standards and will now face Barcelona in the Champions League final on May 28.

Predictions? Hard to see even a full strength United keeping Messi and co at bay, especially as Barca coach Pep Guardiola will be seeking to continue his love affair with Wembley.

Next up for Alex Ferguson’s men is the visit of title rivals Chelsea on Sunday, certain to be a much stiffer test than a disappointingly lacklustre Schalke 04 on Wednesday. Will United’s formidable home record count in their favour?

Staying in Europe, and Thursday is Europa League day. Porto take a 5-1 lead into the second semi-final leg against Villarreal, while compatriots Benfica beat fellow Portuguese club Braga 2-1 at home.

Braga, less fashionable than their illustrious rivals, play their home games at the Quarry. Could be an explosive match.

Taking a look at a wider football issue, are tickets too expensive? Read here for what Arsenal are doing to combat the rise in prices.

And finally, referees have a hard time, especially with the stakes so high in Europe, but read here to find out about a New Zealand official’s ‘empty net’ penalty decision.

Discuss all these topics and other stories in world soccer on the Reuters Soccer Facebook page. And please feel free to send us recommendations for your pick of the day’s stories.

 

Picture: Manchester United’s Chris Smalling (L), Darron Gibson (C) and manager Alex Ferguson react after his team beat Schalke 04 during their semi-final second leg soccer match at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England May 4, 2011. REUTERS/Phil Noble

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