UEFA Champions League

May 5, 2009



1 - 3

Manchester United

UEFA Champions League

18:45 +00:00, May 5, 2009

Emirates Stadium, England

Referee: Roberto Rosetti

2nd Leg: 1 - 4 (Agg)

  • 93'

    There it is, and a comprehensive win for Manchester United. They were well worth it in fairness, and destroyed the game within the opening minutes. They are in with a shout of making history, if they can successfully defend their crown in Rome later this month. But will they face Chelsea (again) or Barcelona? Find out with us tomorrow. Bye for now.

  • 92'

    Giggs misses the chance to slot another goal in this remarkable season of his but he can't take Berbatov's ball in his path.

  • 91'

    Vela takes too much time in front of goal as O'Shea hassles him out of it, then Adebayor tries a shot when off balance but it is weak, oh so weak.

  • 90'

    The stadium is emptying very rapidly. In the Arsenal sections that is. Three minutes added.

  • 89'

    This one is dire. High, oh so high and wide.

  • 88'

    Another free kick for United as Toure lifts a foot in the direction of Ronaldo. Another chance for him to smash it goalwards.

  • 87'

    Ronaldo spanks the free kick just over the bar at tremendous pace.

  • 86'

    Eboue gets a yellow for such an innocuous foul its untrue. Remember the name Roberto Rosetti, and pray he never officiates a game involving your team.

  • 85'

    Nasri's free kick is helped on by Bendtner and Fabregas wasn't expecting it, or he wouldn't have got a minimal touch that looped into Van der Sar's arms.

  • 84'

    Let's just call full time before this referee botches any more important decisions.

  • 83'

    Fabregas hits the wall, then swats his second effort wide of the post.

  • 82'

    The referee has lost the plot here, now he's given Arsenal such a soft free kick when Rafael was shoulder to shoulder with Eboue. What a clown.

  • 81'

    Michael Carrick goes down heavily after an Adebayor stud raker. An awful tackle. A yellow for the Arsenal forward. He's lucky.

  • 80'

    The fourth official has confirmed there is no appeal process so Fletcher has to lump it. What a preposterous system. Anyone can see that's a mistake, so why can't it be corrected when the game is finished? UEFA, hang your heads.

  • 79'

    Arsenal's fans (those who are left anyway) have a little sing song. Fair play. Van Persie has just spent a few minutes on the deck after a little clip on the nose. Get up. Vela replaces him.

  • 78'

    I am reliably informed the only way Fletcher's card could be rescinded is if it was a case of mistaken identity, which it clearly wasn't. He had a great view of it, and it was an obvious touch from Fletcher. An absolute howler.

  • 77'

    It was a brilliant touch from Fletcher and the referee has killed his chances of playing in the Champions League final. What a buffoon.

  • 76'

    Van Persie slots the penalty. Arsenal need four more in 15 minutes!

  • 75'

    What a horrible decision from the referee. Fletcher clipped the ball away from Fabregas after he went clean through but the ref gives a penalty to Arsenal and sends the United man off. He'll miss the final now, so, so unjustly.

  • 73'

    A good effort from Park after being slipped in by Rafael on the right side. Almunia parries behind for a corner.

  • 72'

    Half decent effort from Bendtner, beating O'Shea and hammering a shot into the side-netting. He had colleagues who were better placed though.

  • 70'

    David Beckham is in the crowd and looks like he enjoyed United's third, judging by the replay we've just seen.

  • 69'

    Nasri gets a yellow for a little nibble on Fletcher. He's banned for his next European game. It won't be this season mind.

  • 68'

    United are stringing passes around at will now. If there was any Arsenal spirit left it evaporated with Ronaldo's second.

  • 66'

    Rooney is now coming off and Berabtov is on. Why United couldn't make three changes at once rather than every 30 seconds is beyond me. The game is over Fergie.

  • 65'

    Patrice Evra is now coming off, and Rafael is coming on. Rooney is still out there with the threat of missing the final hanging over him. Especially with his penchant for red-mistery.

  • 64'

    Van Persie shows a bit of spirit by cutting inside and smashing a shot towards the far corner. Van der Sar parries, then Vidic takes a flick in the face.

  • 63'

    Anderson is making way for the PFA Player of the Year Ryan Giggs. Chuckle, chuckle. Oh, and don't worry Arsenal fans, Nicklas Bendtner to the rescue! Walcott departs.

  • 62'

    25 goals for the season for Ronaldo now. Not bad eh?

  • 61'

    What a supreme counter attack. One minute the ball is in United's penalty area then Park streaks clear, releases Rooney and he slides the ball across for Ronaldo to finish from 12 yards.

  • 61'

    GOAL! Ronaldo!

  • 60'

    Van Persie takes a corner short and Nasri hits it into a crowded box but United clear. Now Arsenal have another corner that Ferdiand heads away. Bit of pressure building from the home side.

  • 59'

    A weak attempt at a through ball from Van Persie sums up Arsenal's current malaise. They don't have the belief, and who can blame them?

  • 57'

    A brilliant United passing move sees Fletcher and Anderson combine to release Park but his cross is too firm for Rooney, who is still only needs a booking to miss the final. Why is he still out there I wonder?

  • 56'

    Bendtner and Vela warm up on the sidelines. Does Wneger concede the tie and try to prevent further goals, or go hell for leather in the hope a lifeline?

  • 55'

    Van Persie's free kick was a little bit too much of a glory seeker. It was too long for any of his team mates to profit from and earned another round of sighs from a depressed Arsenal contingent.

  • 54'

    Fletcher fouls Sagna wide on the right and Arsenal can swing a ball into the box.

  • 53'

    Anderson is onside after sneaking round the back but then he fouls Djourou after the defender gets back.

  • 52'

    From the short corner Anderson swings in a cross that Almunia then has to tip over just to be sure. He claims the subsequent Rooney corner.

  • 51'

    Superb save from Almunia, who turns a low Ronaldo shot around the post after he'd cut inside Djourou.

  • 50'

    United just need to see the next ten minutes out and the tie truly will be done and dusted, if it isn't already.

  • 49'

    The cameras show an empty section of seating in the stands, but its not because Arsenal's fans have naffed off; a sniffer dog seems to be checking out a suspicious package.

  • 48'

    Van Persie and Walcott combine but the latter's cross is easily cleared by Vidic. Ferdinand then clears a slightly better ball from Sagna.

  • 47'

    Eboue is on for Kieran Gibbs in the only change. Slightly harsh on the young man, if he's not injured.

  • 46'

    We begin again...

  • 45'

    There is half time, limply greeted with a few whistles and boos from the home fans. The truth is, United have killed this tie off within 12 minutes. Never say never in football. Apart from maybe now.

  • 44'

    Well, Arsene Wenger needs to deliver the team talk of his life in two minutes time as Ronaldo tests Almunia with another shot from range.

  • 43'

    Walcott then brings down Rooney as he looked to come away with the ball.

  • 42'

    Its just not quite happening for Walcott on the right as Arsenal find a spell of pressure. He and Van Persie swap passes and eventually Gibbs stands up a cross that Vidic clears.

  • 41'

    Van Persie swings in a devilish ball but it breaks to Fletcher after no-one got a clean head on it and he whacks clear.

  • 40'

    Walcott gets a free kick this time, a decision that is granted with a weak, ironic cheer.

  • 39'

    Adebayor comes short to win the ball and is instantly surrounded by four blue shirts.

  • 38'

    Ronaldo wangs in the free kick at pace, Almunia claims the ball then launches a hoof downfield to no-one. He then berates his players for not being more advanced.

  • 37'

    Now Park gets a ridiculously easy free kick as the Gunners fans howl their disapproval at ref Roberto Rosetti.

  • 36'

    Ronaldo does his dying swan act after a sliding challenge from Song. Definitely a foul but it didn't warrant Ronaldo's ridiculous reaction. Then Adebayor and Fletcher exchange harsh words.

  • 35'

    Adebayor does meet the latest cross, from Sagna, but it was high and wide. A difficult chance, in fairness.

  • 34'

    Nasri slots in a cross but it is too deep for Van Persie or Adebayor. Still no chance of note for Arsenal.

  • 33'

    Adebayor gets a free kick after Vidic clipped him from behind.

  • 32'

    Ronaldo hits one but Almunia is right behind the dipping effort.

  • 31'

    Nasri now clips Fletcher after he lost the ball. Another slightly soft free kick. Arsenal need something before half time. Now Sagna slides in on Ronaldo and the ref gives United a free kick. Chance.

  • 30'

    Fabregas gets up to nod a Nasri cross goalwards but Van der Sar comfortably claims his looping header.

  • 29'

    As the cross comes in Van der Sar fumbles the ball and Adebayor is penalised for brushing the 'keepers arm. Terrible decision by the referee.

  • 28'

    Adebayor and Ferdinand are spoken to after a bit of argy bargy in the box ahead of an Arsenal free kick.

  • 27'

    Toure pumps it long for Adebayor and Vidic muscles him out of the way. Ronaldo is flagged offside this time but the ball over the top is definitely still on for United.

  • 25'

    The only audible sounds in the Emirates are United's 4,000 or so fans who are trotting out all the old classics to a bewildered Gunners crowd.

  • 24'

    The biggest Arsenal cheer of the night comes as Rooney is flagged offside.

  • 23'

    Van Persie's corner is deep and Vidic barges Rooney out the way to win it.

  • 22'

    Anderson is caught in possession and responds by chopping Fabregas down before Arsenal come away with the ball. Walcott runs at Evra and wins a corner.

  • 21'

    Rooney is penalised for pushing when the corner comes in.

  • 20'

    Van der Sar claims the corner at full stretch as Toure lurked. United break quickly downfield and Ronaldo wins a corner.

  • 19'

    Walcott gets a chorus of groans as he miscontrols a ball from Sagna. Fabregas wins the ball back though, and Adebayor earns a corner.

  • 18'

    Rooney curls a shot towards the far corner and Almuina saves brilliantly, then Ronaldo heads wide from the corner. Arsenal in bits here.

  • 17'

    For the neutral, like me and some of thee, we need some Arsenal goals quick smart or this could peter out very quickly.

  • 16'

    The cameras are having a field day zooming in on distraught Arsenal fans rubbing their eyes and shaking their heads.

  • 15'

    Not an Arsenal flag in sight now. Its like a return to Highbury the Library.

  • 14'

    Arsenal try and rally with Van Persie inside the area. Wenger looks shellshocked on the touchline. Arsenal now need four goals.

  • 13'

    Ronaldo miscontrols when he was ten yards clear of Arsenal's back four after a ball over the top from Evra. It should have been three!

  • 12'

    Admittedly it was a soft award as Van Persie nipped at Ronaldo, but the Portuguese had no right to score from that distance.

  • 11'

    Ronaldo has just hammered in a free kick from 45 yards out, wide on the right and Almunia has to take the blame for that. What a strike, but where was the keeper?

  • 11'

    GOAL! Ronaldo!

  • 10'

    This is when Arsenal need their fans; they have been stunned into silence after the goal.

  • 9'

    That was painfully unlucky for Kieran Gibbs, who had an excellent game at Old Trafford. He was just about to swing a leg and hack the ball clear but lost his footing and Park puts United one giant step towards Rome. Arsenal now need three goals.

  • 8'

    Ronaldo gets in down the left channel and crosses; Gibbs slips at the vital moment and Park finishes it off. A huge turning point in the game.

  • 8'

    GOAL! Park!

  • 6'

    United's first break is interrupted by a crucial touch from Toure as Ronaldo and Rooney combined inside the area.

  • 5'

    Ronaldo is plowing a lone furrow up front, with Rooney and Park pushing on. They've both spent the entire time in their own half so far mind.

  • 4'

    Arsenal pressing hard at the start, playing far higher up the pitch than they were at Old Trafford. Ronaldo's first touch is a fluff, which delights the Arsenal faithful.

  • 3'

    Sagna whips in the game's first inviting cross and Fletcher gets there ahead of Fabregas. Then Fabregas shoots and United hearts are in mouths as the ball deflects off Ferdinand and spins two yards wide.

  • 2'

    A somehwat cagey start on an immaculate looking pitch. Perfect conditions for football too, fair weather and not too warm (well, it is London).

  • 1'

    We're off...


    Arsenal's notoriously quiet fans are making a right old racket tonight, and there is a red-and-white flag for each of the 60,000 fans inside the ground. The teams come out to a wall of noise. Here we go people, this could be rather large...


    One can only hope we have a game of equal standard to the Premier League meeting between these two at the Emirates back in November. Arsenal's 2-1 win over United is comfortably in my top three games of the season list. More of the same please.


    It looks as though Ronaldo will lead United's attack then, with Park and Rooney supporting. Carrick, Fletcher and Anderson will provide the engine room snap.


    So, Park for Tevez is the only United change from last week, whereas the Gunners start Johan Djourou for the injured Mikael Silvestre and Robin van Persie instead of Abou Diaby. I smell a 4-4-2 formation for the Gunners.


    Man Utd: Van der Sar, O'Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Fletcher, Carrick, Anderson, Park, Ronaldo and Rooney. Subs from: Kuszczak, Rafael Da Silva, Evans, Giggs, Scholes, Berbatov and Tevez.


    Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Djourou, Gibbs, Walcott, Fabregas, Song Billong, Nasri, Van Persie and Adebayor. Subs from: Fabianski, Eboue, Silvestre, Diaby, Denilson, Vela and Bendtner.


    Good evening one and all and welcome to live coverage of the positively titanic clash between Arsenal and Manchester United. Expect the cordial relations between Fergie and Wenger to go oot the windy in the course of these explosive 90 minutes.


    Join us at 1945 BST to see if Arsenal can overturn a one goal defocit and prevent Manchester United reaching the Champions League final in successive seasons.