Man United completes rout of Schalke
MANCHESTER, England -- As the injury time wound down, the crowd of 74,637 at Old Trafford burst into song: "Wem-be-ley. Wem-be-ley. We're going to Wem-be-ley."
For the third time in four years, Manchester United is in the Champions League final, and the Red Devils will play Barcelona on May 28 at soccer's most famous stadium.
Antonio Valencia and Darron Gibson got early goals, Anderson scored twice and the Red Devils beat Schalke 4-1 Wednesday night for a 6-1 aggregate victory in the most one-sided Champions League semifinal in 22 years.
In the final at Wembley, Manchester United will try to avenge its 2-0 loss to Barcelona in the 2009 title game in Rome.
"Hopefully, we can play a lot better," midfielder Ryan Giggs said after advancing to his fourth Champions League final. "The problem with Rome is that we didn't turn up and produce the football we knew we were capable of. So, hopefully, we can put that right at Wembley. It's a tremendous stadium steeped in history."
Each team will be seeking its fourth title in Europe's top club competition. United defeated Chelsea on penalty kicks in 2008 following victories in 1968 -- at the old Wembley -- and 1999. Barcelona won its first European title at Wembley in 1992, then won its second in 2006.
Manager Alex Ferguson used a lineup with mostly backups, retaining just three players from the starting 11 that lost to Arsenal in the Premier League last weekend. Still, Manchester United had the largest victory margin in the tournament's home-and-home semifinal since AC Milan defeated Real Madrid 6-1 in the Champion Clubs' Cup in 1988-89.
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola was at Old Trafford, a day after the Blaugrana completed a 3-1 aggregate win over Real Madrid. Ferguson plans to contact Real coach Jose Mourinho for tips.
"I speak to him quite a lot," Ferguson said. "Real are a different team from us for a start. It's not as if we haven't seen them before. I have watched them many times this season, but we will take the information, because Jose is very helpful that way."
After winning 2-0 in Germany last week, Ferguson rested many of his regulars to prepare for this weekend's Premier League match against second-place Chelsea, which trails by three points with three games left. United is closing in on what would be an English record 19th league title.
"I didn't sleep last night thinking about it," Ferguson said. "They did me proud."
Goals by Valencia in the 26th minute and Gibson in the 31st built a 4-0 aggregate lead. Jose Manuel Jurado scored for Schalke in the 35th, but Anderson added goals for the Red Devils in the 72nd and 76th minutes. Entering the match, Anderson had scored just two goals in 125 appearances.
"Wembley here we come," Rooney wrote on Twitter. "Looking forward to Sunday now. Big result needed."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press