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Man City stun United in FA semis

LONDON (AP) ― Manchester City ended Manchester United’s chances of winning three trophies in the same season, beating its local rival 1-0 at Wembley on Saturday to reach its first FA Cup final in 30 years.

Chelsea kept alive its faint hopes of retaining the Premier League title with a 3-1 win at West Bromwich Albion.

Yaya Toure scored in the 52nd minute for City, leaving United in contention for the domestic championship and Champions League. Toure scored after intercepting a poor clearance by Michael Carrick. United was reduced to 10 men in the 72nd minute when Paul Scholes drew a red card for a dangerous lunge.

Toure dedicated his goal to his brother and teammate, Kolo, who is suspended for a failed doping test. Kolo Toure faces a two-year ban after testing positive for a substance that his former manager at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, said was in a diet pill belonging to the defender’s wife.

City is fourth in the Premier League and on course to qualify for next year’s Champions League. It plays Stoke or Bolton in the May 14 final ― when it will try to end a 35-year streak without a trophy.

“We’ve done nothing yet,” City goalkeeper Joe Hart said. “We’ve got ourselves into a good position in the league and we’ve put ourselves in the final.”

Backed by an investment of about $1 billion by owner Sheikh Mansour since 2008, City has a shot at a first trophy since the 1976 League Cup. It reached the 1981 FA Cup final, but lost a replay to Tottenham.

“The boys are over the moon; the club are over the moon,” Hart said.

United was without suspended Wayne Rooney, while Javier Hernandez, who scored in Tuesday’s Champions League victory over Chelsea, was benched.

With six games left, United is seven points ahead of Arsenal in the chase for the Premier League title and plays Schalke in a two-leg Champions League semifinal this month.

Chelsea recovered from a 1-0 deficit, getting goals from Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou and Frank Lampard to move the defending champions within eight points of United. Arsenal hosts Liverpool on Sunday.

Everton continued its late-season rally with a 2-0 win over Blackburn. Birmingham eased its relegation worries with a 2-0 win over Sunderland, and Aston Villa did likewise with a 2-1 victory at West Ham.
Manchester United’s Park Ji-sung (right) and Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany vie for the ball. (AFP-Yonhap News)
Manchester United’s Park Ji-sung (right) and Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany vie for the ball. (AFP-Yonhap News)

Spain

Cristiano Ronaldo’s 82nd-minute penalty kick gave Real Madrid a 1-1 tie with first-place Barcelona after Lionel Messi scored his 49th goal of the season in the first of four games between the rivals in 18 days.

Ronaldo cleanly beat goalkeeper Victor Valdes for his first career goal against Barcelona after Daniel Alves was judged to have brought Marcelo down inside the area.

Messi converted a penalty kick in the 53rd to put the visitors ahead at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. The penalty was awarded when Madrid defender Raul Albiol was ejected for tugging at David Villa’s neck inside the area. Messi has a league-leading 30 goals, one ahead of Ronaldo.

Madrid gained a point against Barcelona for the first time in six games, but remained eight points behind the two-time defending champion with six games left.

Barcelona beat Real 5-0 at Camp Nou in November. The teams meet Wednesday in the Copa del Rey final at Valencia, then play April 27 at Madrid and May 3 at Barcelona in the semifinals of the Champions League.

Italy

AC Milan remained on track for its first Serie A title since 2004 with a 3-0 win over Sampdoria.

Clarence Seedorf scored in the 20th minute, Antonio Cassano converted a penalty kick in the 54th and Robinho scored in the 61st. AC Milan opened a six-point lead over second-place Napoli, which is at Udinese on Sunday.

Defending champion Inter Milan dropped eight points back in third with a 2-0 loss to Parma, which got goals from Sebastien Giovinco in the 35th and Amauri in the 85th.

Germany

Jan Polak scored in the last minute, giving Wolfsburg a 2-2 draw with fellow relegation candidate St. Pauli in the Bundesliga. Hannover was held to a 0-0 tie at Hamburger SV.

Goals from Deniz Naki and Matthias Lehmann appeared to put St. Pauli in position for a crucial win after Mario Mandzukic’s opening score. But Polak scored to leave both sides even on points in the relegation zone.

Scotland

Stephen Craigan scored his first goal in five years to help Motherwell beat St. Johnstone 3-0 and reach the Scottish Cup final for the first time since 1991, when it last won the trophy.

The 34-year-old defender headed in a fifth-minute corner kick that eluded goalkeeper Peter Enckelman’s attempted catch. Jamie Murphy scored with a low shot in the 14th minute and John Sutton made it 3-0 with a 25-yard shot six minutes before halftime.

Twenty years after beating Dundee United 4-3 in the final, Motherwell will meet Celtic or Aberdeen on May 21 at Hampden Park.

France

First-place Lille dropped points for the second straight match when it was held to a 1-1 tie by visiting Bordeaux.

Moussa Sow’s league-leading 21st goal of the season put Lille ahead in the 58th, Vujadin Savic’s first goal for Bordeaux, a powerful downward header from Jaroslav Plasil’s corner kick, tied it with 15 minutes remaining.
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