3. EUROPE: Man U routs Roma; Chelsea squeaks through

Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson called his team's 7-1 thumping of Roma its greatest performance among the more than 200 European games in which he's coached the team in his two decades at the helm.

The home rout gave Manchester United an 8-3 aggregate win in the quarterfinal series.

"It was an unexpected scoreline," Ferguson said, "but the quality of our game was so high that once we scored two or three you felt there was going to be something big. It was a special night."

Michael Carrick, Alan Smith and Wayne Rooney scored within the first 20 minutes. Cristiano Ronaldo scored two more and Carrick added another before Patrice Evra rounded off the evening. The win keeps Man U in contention to repeat its Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup treble of 1999.

Also reaching the semis is Chelsea, which trails Man U by three points in the Premier League. Ghanaian Michael Essien scored the late winner in a 2-1 victory at Valencia, which had tied Chelsea, 1-1, in the first leg in England. Valencia scored first with a strike by Fernando Morientes before Andriy Shevchenko equalized.

"A late goal hurts because it leaves you with no time to keep your chances alive," Valencia coach Quique Sanchez Flores said. "It's one of the worst fates a team can suffer."
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