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Friday, May 1, 2009

Man United beats Arsenal on O'Shea's goal

MANCHESTER, England (AP) Manchester United's 1-0 victory over Arsenal in the first leg of an all-English European Champions League semifinal might have been costly for the defending champion.

Central defender Rio Ferdinand was sent to a hospital for tests after Wednesday night's match to determine whether he has a broken rib, an injury that could cause him to miss the second leg.

"It doesn't look good at the moment," United manager Alex Ferguson said.

Defender John O'Shea scored the lone goal in the 18th minute. The teams meet against Tuesday at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium, and the winner of the total-goals series advances to the May 27 final in Rome against Barcelona or Chelsea, who drew 0-0 Tuesday in Spain and play again in London on May 6.

"Their keeper has made a couple of great saves. On our first-half display, we could have been a couple more goals up," O'Shea said. "But we have the goal, we kept a clean sheet and we know we're capable of scoring an away goal at the Emirates."

Michael Carrick beat a defender on the left off a corner, and his cross deflected off Alex Song to the unmarked O'Shea, who drove the ball past goalkeeper Manuel Almunia into the roof of the net.

"The positive is that we are only 1-0 down," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "I am convinced you will see a different Arsenal team at the Emirates. I believe that we have a good chance to reverse the result."

Manchester United defeated Chelsea 6-5 on penalties following a 1-1 tie in last year's final at Moscow. United already has won this season's Club World Cup and the English League Cup, and has a three-point lead over second-place Liverpool in the Premier League race with a game in hand.

United was eliminated by Everton in the semifinals of the F.A. Cup.

Arsenal, fourth in the Premier League, was without injured Robin van Persie and Andrey Arshavin, who was acquired in January and is ineligible to appear for the Gunners in the Champions League.

Ryan Giggs made his 800th appearance for Manchester United. The 35-year-old midfielder, who made his United debut in March 1991, replaced Anderson in the 67th minute.

"If you asked me when I was 19, 'Would you be playing in a Champions League semifinal at 35?' I would have said, 'No,' " Giggs said ahead of the match. "But I look after myself, and it helps when you have good players around you."



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