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Treble dreams alive

sports Updated: Mar 14, 2011 02:06 IST

Manchester United kept their treble dreams alive by knocking Arsenal out of the FA Cup five days after the London side's Champions League exit thanks to a deserved 2-0 quarterfinal win at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Goals from Fabio da Silva after 28 minutes and a 49th minute header from Wayne Rooney put United through to a record 27th semi-final which will be at Wembley Stadium next month.

The victory was a huge boost for Alex Ferguson's Premier League leaders before their Champions League last-16 second leg against Olympique Marseille back at Old Trafford on Tuesday after two successive League defeats by Chelsea and Liverpool.

United will be aiming to reach the quarter-finals of Europe's premier competition after their goalless draw in the first leg three weeks ago to keep alive the chance of repeating their European Cup, FA Cup and Premier League treble of 1999.

For Arsenal the night ended in yet more disappointment following their elimination from the Champions League by Barcelona on Tuesday and their defeat by Birmingham City in the League Cup final at Wembley on Feb. 27. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told reporters: "I believe that sub-consciously the disappointment of Tuesday night has played a part today, something has gone, not in our effort or our attitude but in our confidence."

He added: "They (United) were much more clinical and we have had a very difficult week but the team will recover from that and refocus."

He also said Swiss defender Johan Djourou, who suffered a dislocated shoulder in the match, would be out for the rest of the season. Arsenal are second behind United in the Premier League title race.