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Discussion Starter #1
Big two to meet in semis

Manchester United and Arsenal were pitted against each other in the FA Cup semi-final draw.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side stand between the Gunners and a record fourth-consecutive FA Cup final, although the last time United reached the semi-finals - in 1999 - they were victorious against Arsenal.

The Nationwide League is guaranteed a team in the final, because Sunderland were drawn to face the winners of the replay between Tranmere and Millwall.

The ties will be played on the first weekend of April.

The winners of the all-Football League semi-final will be in the Uefa Cup, assuming neither Arsenal nor Manchester United fall from grace spectacularly and miss out on a European place via their Premiership position.

United and Arsenal met in the FA Cup fifth round last season, the Gunners running out 2-0 winners at Old Trafford en route to winning the competition.

The match became infamous after Ferguson reacted to the defeat by kicking a stray boot in the dressing room - which struck David Beckham on the head.

United have not reached the last four since the match in 1999 when they beat Arsenal in a replay at Villa Park, Ryan Giggs scoring a spectacular solo winner.

They went on to beat Newcastle in the final on their way to winning the treble.
 

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hard game i must say, i like the final now rather then later so red cards, yellow cards mean something instead of at the end of the season where we might see some REALLY ugly scenes.

atleast this way, players would have to play "softer" instead of wild tackles everywhere.

first and foremost i want a clean game, good refering. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Semi-final could go to Cardiff

Manchester United's FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal is set to be switched to Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

The Gunners have made representation to the Football Association for the move because of the stadium's greater capacity than the original venue Villa Park.

With Villa Park required for Aston Villa's Premiership encounter with Manchester City the previous day, the Cardiff option also means that the semi-final can be brought forward to Saturday, April 3 to allow both sides extra recovery time ahead of Champions League quarter-finals the following week.

FA officials have sounded out United opinions on the matter but are believed to be on the point of confirming the move, the first time the stadium, which has hosted the final since 2001, has hosted a last four clash.

It is not yet known whether the match will have a lunchtime or evening kick-off, as consultation with local police is still taking place.

Also, the TV schedulers will want to have an input as the game is possibly scheduled for the same day as the Grand National.

The FA will, however, resist any attempt to get the all-Nationwide League semi-final between Sunderland and either Millwall or Tranmere moved from Old Trafford the following day.

United though have reacted coolly to the proposed switch, mindful of the extra travelling their fans would have to undertake to get to Cardiff.

They are also opposed to playing a semi-final at the same venue as the final, although they have held back from outright condemnation of the plan until the FA make a final decision.

"We were informed of the venues for each potential tie before yesterday's draw was made and as a consequence we are happy to be playing Arsenal at Villa Park," said a spokesman.

"Wherever possible we believe the semi-final should be played at a different venue to the final."
 

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Discussion Starter #5
United get their way as Villa venue is confirmed

Manchester United have won the battle over the venue for their FA Cup semi-final with Arsenal.

After a lengthy meeting, the Football Association have agreed that the fixture will be played at Villa Park on Saturday April 3, with a 12pm or 12.15pm kick-off.

The move has been hailed as a victory for the fans after supporters from both United and Arsenal demanded to be consulted over the timing of the game, which had been the subject of intense confusion.

Arsenal officials, led by manager Arsene Wenger, called for the match to be switched to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff because of its greater capacity and easier access from London.

But, having correctly assumed the game would be pulled forward a day from its scheduled Sunday berth and given a lunchtime kick-off, United dug their heels in and demanded the match be played at the original venue where the Red Devils won their famous 1999 semi-final replay against the Gunners.

They argued that their fans would be greatly inconvenienced at having to head to South Wales at such a time and pointed out their opposition to playing a semi-final at the same venue as the final.

Supporters from both clubs then waded into the debate, suggesting they were being treated as "turnstile fodder" by the game's governing body.

Finally, after a meeting involving all relevant parties, the FA have switched the fixture back to Villa Park where the Barclaycard Premiership giants were originally told the match would be played if they were drawn together.

"Given all the realistic options, this is welcome news," said Mark Longden, spokesman for the Independent Manchester United Supporters Association.

"Supporters of both Arsenal and Manchester United were rightly concerned that decisions were being taken without the input of the people who would be most inconvenienced by the eventual outcome.

"It is the fans who have to pay for their tickets, and they deserve to be consulted on matters of this kind."

With both Arsenal and United hoping to be involved in Champions League action the week after the semi-final, a switch to Saturday was always likely - and the news means Villa's scheduled Premiership encounter with Manchester City will now be postponed.

Earlier, Wenger confirmed his wish to play at the Millennium Stadium but insisted he would accept whatever the FA decided.

"We've made it known that we would prefer Cardiff, because there will be a massive demand for tickets," he said.

"But we will accept whatever the FA decide. If we have to play at Villa Park then we would still be happy."

The timing of the game squeezes the space between the league game between the pair on March 28, which could be bad news for Sven-Goran Eriksson - given England head to Sweden for an important friendly in the middle of the following week.

Wenger has already confirmed he will be without Gilberto for the FA Cup clash because he will be required for Brazil's World Cup qualifier against Paraguay, a situation which is almost certain to apply to United midfielder Kleberson.
 

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A lot is riding on this game....if nothing else I expect an absolute fight to the very, very, very last. Death or glory....nothing else will do:fero: ;)
 

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man utd will fight like dogs.

its their only chance for silverware this season, i place a bet that ferggie is going to fire up some whining and cheap taunts at wenger a week before the match.

another crap talk about how we rely on henry to much? maybe we should beat you without using him again LOL.

if you dont go through to the FA cup final, beware of one whole year of teasing you by me. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Refs selected for semis

Graham Barber will referee the FA Cup semi-final between Arsenal and Manchester United at Villa Park.

The other semi-final between Sunderland and Millwall or Tranmere at Old Trafford will be officiated by Paul Durkin.
 

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Re: Refs selected for semis

kingkobra83 said:
Graham Barber will referee the FA Cup semi-final between Arsenal and Manchester United at Villa Park.

The other semi-final between Sunderland and Millwall or Tranmere at Old Trafford will be officiated by Paul Durkin.
carson35 of man utd?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
carson35 of man utd?
seems like i could be in contention for that title. I suppose i am a bit like carson........but with a tiny fraction of posts
 

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Re: Re: Re: Refs selected for semis

Shaf said:
Well you wanted good refereeing during the game so KK just posted the name of the officials in charge.;)
yeap true, however some of his other posts are like that ;)

dont worry, i got no prob with it.
 

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I hope we win, the game will not be ordinary, it will be a WAR.
It's up for Ruud to take his revenge from with those a$$ holes after the last game at OT.
 

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As for Ferguson he is a human and he has to make mistakes, I think he learnt his lesson and should I hope improve the team in the summer.
 
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