Manchester United, Barcelona set sights on Champions League semis
Wayne Rooney shook off his domestic league problems by scoring the 1-0 winner for visiting Manchester United in a European Champions League quarter-final at Chelsea on Wednesday night, dpa reported.
Barcelona also put themselves into an excellent position for a place in the final four with a 5-1 demolition of Shakhtar Donetsk.
Rooney, who faces a two-game ban in England for swearing into a television camera on the weekend, slotted home a pass from veteran Ryan Giggs in the 24th minute as United won for the first time in nine years at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea were unlucky in a cagey all-English affair when Didier Drogba's cross hit the post and Frank Lampard's effort on the rebound was cleared on the goal-line by Patrice Evra on the stroke of half-time. A late penalty claim was turned down by referee Alberto Unidiano Ibanez after Evra brought down Ramires in the area.
Lampard was playing his 500th match for the Blues whose Champions League title dreams appear to go up in smoke yet again.
At the Nou Camp, Andres Iniesta scored an early first, set up Dani Alves for the second and Gerard Pique made it 3-0.
Yaroslav Rakitskiy pulled one back for Shakhtar in the 59th, but Seydou Keita smashed home Barca's fourth less than a minute later and Xavi wrapped up matters late in the game after Luiz Adriano was denied by the post on the other end of a lively affair.
The 2009 winners Barca are firmly on course towards a semi-final with arch-rivals Real Madrid, who trounced 10-man Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 on Tuesday.
United, who beat Chelsea in the 2008 final on penalties, will aim to clinch their tie at Old Trafford next week to set up an almost certain meeting with Germany's Schalke 04, shock 5-2 winners on Tuesday at holders Inter Milan.