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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Man United Seeks Spot in Cup Final

LONDON -- Now that it has taken over the leadership of the Premier League, Manchester United goes in search of its third FA Cup final appearance in a row.


United meets Ruud Gullit's Chelsea in one semifinal Sunday, while League Cup champion Aston Villa faces Liverpool in the other.


Alex Ferguson's team has been chasing Newcastle all season in the league title race but now has a three-point lead, although Kevin Keegan's Magpies have two games in hand.


United has hit the front just at the right time in the league championship as Newcastle shows alarming signs of cracking under pressure.


Now Ferguson's men can forget that task for a few days and concentrate on beating Chelsea in a repeat of the 1994 final, which the Reds won 4-0.


French striker Eric Cantona, who has scored five goals in five games, netted twice against Chelsea in that final and looks in form to keep his streak going.


But even the Frenchman could be upstaged at Villa Park on Sunday by a player who has won virtually every title in the book.


As a star with AC Milan and the Netherlands, Gullit has gained winner's medals in the Italian League, Champions Cup and the European Championship for nations.


Now he is aiming for his first taste of a final in one of the world's oldest competitions, the English FA Cup.


Playing in deep positions for Chelsea, the Dutchman has adapted to the fast pace of typically English games.


Villa already has a cup in the locker this year, after overpowering Leeds 3-0 at Wembley in last week's League Cup final, and will therefore go into Sunday's game under no pressure.


In Tobagan striker Dwight Yorke, who has scored 22 goals this season, Villa has a scorer of stunning goals who also creates for other players.


But Liverpool has beaten Villa twice in league play this year, winning 2-0 at Villa Park and 3-0 at Anfield.


(For schedule, see Scorecard.)