Man U rallies at Blackpool; Arsenal into cup final

Man U rallies at Blackpool; Arsenal into cup final

Man U rallies at Blackpool; Arsenal into cup final

United trailed 2-0 at halftime in its first top flight meeting with Blackpool for 40 years after Craig Cathcart and DJ Campbell scored from corners.

The leaders' fightback began after Wayne Rooney was substituted. Dimitar Berbatov pulled one back in the 72nd minute and he netted again after Javier Hernandez's equalizer.

"They just never give in," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "In the first half we were battered. We couldn't handle Charlie Adam. We were terrible ... we changed at halftime, Ryan Giggs made a tremendous difference. We started to penetrate and I think we were deserved winners in the end."

United has a five-point lead over Arsenal, but the second-place team was focused yesterday on reaching its first domestic final since 2005. The Gunners took until the 61st minute to wipe out Ipswich's 1-0 first-leg advantage in their League Cup semifinal. But after Nicklas Bendtner scored, Laurent Koscielny quickly netted again and Cesc Fabregas secured a 3-1 aggregate win.

Arsenal's Bacary Sagna was taken to hospital with concussion sustained in a clash of heads with Wojciech Szczesny, his goalkeeper. Arsenal will face West Ham or Birmingham in the February 27 final. West Ham leads 2-1 going into today's second leg.

"It is going to be a very difficult final but we will do our best because I think the fans deserve a trophy again," Fabregas said. "The goal was to get to the final but it was difficult ... the key was patience and we did it really well."

Man United looked set for its first league loss since April when Cathcart, a former Old Trafford defender, headed in Charlie Ada's corner after 15 minutes. The home threat was unrelenting with United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar having to pull off a save to block a header from his own defender, Nemanja Vidic. Blackpool went further in front in the 43rd when another corner from Adam was met by Campbell at the far post.

Blackpool felt aggrieved not to be awarded a penalty at the start of the second half when Luke Varney was sent tumbling by Rafael da Silva.