UEFA Champions League

September 17, 2008


Manchester United

0 - 0


Group E

18:45 +00:00, September 17, 2008

Old Trafford, England

Referee: Wolfgang Stark

  • 90'

    A spectacle it was not, but both sides did have clear chances to take the points. Villarreal got what they came for while United will be disappointing their home winning run is at an end

  • 90'

    And that's it, the final whistle goes

  • 90'

    Ronaldo tries to skip to the byline and cross, but he's just not sharp enough and it runs over the line

  • 90'

    Into the last 60 seconds

  • 90'

    Keeper Lopez is booked for timewasting, as if we didn't already know the scoreline Villarreal had come for

  • 90'

    Nani is penalised for fouling Godin in trying to keep the ball in - obvious free-kick

  • 90'

    Three minutes to be added on

  • 89'

    Arsenal draw level in Kiev at the death.

  • 88'

    Offside against Fernandez, we're chugging along now

  • 87'

    United have won every home Champions League match since..... drawing 0-0 with Villarreal 13 matches ago. Spooky again.

  • 86'

    Carzola tries a speculative one from 25 yards. And it's still rising

  • 85'

    Giggs looks hungry out on the right. Can he conjeur up a winner?

  • 84'

    ...BANG! Back of the post for a second time as Evans fails to hit the target. He certainly should have scored, so close

  • 83'

    United handed another free-kick. It's abot 35 yards out and is played out wide and short to Ronaldo. He produces a peach of a ball to the back post and there's Evans...

  • 82'

    A final change for the home side as Ryan Giggs is introduced in place of Carlos Tevez

  • 81'

    ...Ronaldo nods it a foot wide of the right post. He really should have scored. Maybe in a month there would have been a different result.

  • 80'

    Nani crosses to the far stick, there's red shirts queueing up and it's Ronaldo...

  • 79'

    Gary Neville's cross finds the head of Tevez, it goes wide again though

  • 78'

    Will Villarreal be tiring now? Just two matches all season whereas the Premier League started two weeks earlier than La Liga

  • 77'

    Free-kick for United out on the left flank. Nani will deliver into the box but it's poor and headed away

  • 76'

    Can United force a winner or will they have to be content with a draw?

  • 75'

    Another change for the visitors as Franco is replaced by Joseba Llorent. Like for like

  • 74'

    All of a sudden the game has opened up, maybe we're in for an exciting finale

  • 73'

    Tevez gets a yellow card for needlessly fouling Godin and sending him flying into the advertising boards. He needs a bit of treatment but comes back

  • 72'

    ...OOOH! Gonzalo has to get back and desperately clear off the line. That looked a certain goal

  • 71'

    Lovely pass from Ronaldo sends Rooney through the centre. He unselfishly squares it for Tevez who controls despite it being a bit strong and forces it past the goalkeeper...

  • 70'

    Evra's great cross is pushed away by the keeper again and it's another corner for United. Nani takes but there's nothing doing

  • 69'

    Not much else going on anywhere else in the second period, hardly a goal rush

  • 68'

    That's the end of the night for Robert Pires, Ariel Ibagza is on.

  • 67'

    Tevez does well again, this time the keeper dives to push away his cross. It drops to Anderson on the edge of the box who finds row Z

  • 66'

    Tevez crosses from the right, Ronaldo gets onto the end of it but you can see he's rusty. The shot is hit into the ground and loops into the keeper's grasp

  • 65'

    The atmosphere has been transformed by the return of Ronaldo. Maybe the have some belief now.

  • 64'

    Arsenal are losing in Kiev

  • 63'

    Corner to United, Park takes and it's Evans with the head, which goes about two feet wide

  • 62'

    Hargreaves and Park come off and yes, it's that time, Cristiano Ronaldo is back! Oh, and Anderson's on, too.

  • 61'

    ...OOOH! Franco's flicked shot hits the inside of the post and bounces back into the arms of Van der Sar. So unlucky for Franco

  • 60'

    Some great football by Villarreal, out of keeping with the rest of their game. Lopez gets space down the right and crosses into the centre for Franco...

  • 59'

    Ronaldo's getting kitted up. What did I tell you? Yes, that's right... the hour

  • 58'

    Park loses his footing when shooting, which forces his snap effort wide

  • 57'

    Villarreal enjoying possession but without any real adventure attached

  • 56'

    It's not very often I'm lost for words. I'm lost for words.

  • 55'

    It really is a very bitty game, Villarreal happy for a point

  • 54'

    Rooney look for Park out right with a sublime pass but the Korean fails to control, throw in

  • 53'

    Ronaldo is out to warm up and gets a standing ovation from the fans. Boos? What boos!

  • 52'

    United try too many touches around the area, Fletcher opting not to shoot, and they run into yellow shirts

  • 51'

    Gary Neville is penalised for a foul on Pires. There wasn't much in that

  • 50'

    Fergie, by the way, confirmed during the break that Ronnie will definitely be introduced at some stage

  • 50'

    Okay, bored now. Get Ronaldo on.

  • 49'

    The atmosphere is dead again. This is supposed to be a huge match between Champions League holders and La Liga runners-up!

  • 48'

    Tevez thinks he's peeled away from space at the back stick, but the flag is up for offside from Nani's dinked pass.

  • 47'

    Villarreal looking brighter already... well, they couldn't have been worse.

  • 47'

    I have to admit I'm not particularly looking forward to this 45 minutes. It could be dull, but then there is Ronaldo!

  • 46'

    And we're under way again

  • 45'

    Santiago Carzola comes on at half-time for the ineffectual Cani

  • 45'

    And that's half-time. Let's hope for better after our tea break. Please.

  • 45'

    Rooney sees the keeper off his line and tries a shot from the half-way line but it's always drifting well wide.

  • 45'

    One added minute, for some bizarre reason.

  • 45'

    You could hear a pin drop in this ground at the moment. Morgue.

  • 44'

    A shot from Cani! It's from 30 yards and cleared the bar. Twice. At least.

  • 43'

    Looks like we're playing out time now

  • 42'

    It's fair to say it's not been the most enthralling of matches. It's enough to force you into The Bill. No, I jest

  • 41'

    How long until we see Ronaldo? Surely by the hour if it stays like this

  • 40'

    Tevez gets is all wrong, almost finding the corner flag with a dragged effort from just outside the area

  • 39'

    Terrible cross from Neville down the right, spooned behind for a goal-kick

  • 38'

    No! Not given! Not even a corner! Odd decision from the ref who has now denied United two penalties

  • 37'

    Nani nicks the ball and breaks forward, it looks as though he's going to shoot but works it to Park who goes sprawling under a challenge from Capdevila. Penalty!

  • 36'

    Franco almost gets in through the centre but Van der Sar is out quickly to snuff the danger

  • 35'

    It comes in again from open play and once more it evades everyone and drifts just wide of the far post. All it needed was a touch from Rooney or Ferdinand

  • 34'

    Nani takes a deep free-kick from the left but there's no red shirt to take advantage

  • 33'

    A first yellow for the yellows as Franco is booked for a lunge on Evra

  • 32'

    Foul by Capdevila on Park. The free-kick from Hargreaves on the right is woeful and it's away

  • 31'

    There finally seems to be something of an atmosphere at Old Trafford - not long until prawn sandwich time, though

  • 30'

    Another Rooney cross, and again the keeper has to punch away. Pressure mounting.

  • 29'

    Rooney works it down the right and crosses for goal machine Fletcher, he's unfortunate to see his header hit the back of a defender

  • 28'

    Nani takes the corner, this time Lopez fists it clear

  • 27'

    Superb save! Lopez gets across to his left to palm away a powerful Tevez drive from 25 yards. Corner

  • 27'

    The Yellow Submarine finally gets forward, Pires sprinting down the right. He tries to cut a ball back into the centre of the area but can only find Van der Sar. Spooky!

  • 26'

    Villarreal really aren't making anything. Granted, Lopez has had little to do but Van der Sar is a spectator

  • 25'

    Hargreaves and Rooney work space with a one-two. Hargreaves can only blast well over from just outside the box

  • 25'

    United really starting to take the game by the scruff of the neck now, you can almost smell a goal

  • 24'

    Hargreaves delivers well into the heart of the box but a defender is able to head away unchallenged

  • 23'

    ...Edmilson gets the block in on the shot and it goes into the side netting. Corner. That was half a chance

  • 22'

    Neat interplay between Nani and Fletcher and they work the ball right for Park...

  • 21'

    Rooney tries a shot from more than 25 yards, it smacks into a defender and away

  • 20'

    Edmilson trips Fletcher, free-kick once more

  • 19'

    Quite a few goals flying in elsewhere, but nothing involving the British clubs tonight

  • 18'

    United improving now, and starting to look the better side

  • 17'

    Evra gets a lucky free-kick after stumbling down the left flank. A chance to deliver, but it's poor from Nani

  • 16'

    Tevez is blocked off by Gonzalo, another free-kick this time to United

  • 15'

    Park fouls Capdevila, free-kick

  • 14'

    Eguren appears to have tripped Park just inside the box, the ref looks to his linesman and they both looked non-plused so it's play on. Replays show it should have been a pen

  • 13'

    Speculative shot from Nani, Lopez looks all at sea and just manages to palm it away, for a Villarreal player to hack away. He looks far from confident between the sticks

  • 12'

    Neville gets it 30-yards from goal and it urged to shoot by the crowd. He opts to look for a pass but by the time he feeds it to Fletcher he's run beyond the last man. Offside.

  • 11'

    Neither team really able to gain control right now. It's a bit scrappy.

  • 10'

    Free-kick to Villarreal, Evsns into the back of an opponent

  • 9'

    ...WHAT A MISS! All he had to do was sidefoot home, but Rio gets it all wrong and only manages to put his effort back across goal and the visitors clear. It's should be 1-0

  • 8'

    Nani wins a corner from a deflected cross. Hargreaves swings it over from the left and it's Ferdinand free at the back post...

  • 7'

    Franco almost springs the offside flag but it goes up as he gets on to the ball

  • 6'

    Rooney makes a sweet run across the back of the defence and it's Park who looks to feed him in, but the pass is too strong and Villarreal have a goal-kick

  • 5'

    Great work from Evra, cutting back to cross in on his right - good defensive header though at the front post from Godin

  • 4'

    Some lovely football from Villarreal, eventually Ángel López cuts it back for Cani on the edge of the area, but he fails to pick out Franco

  • 3'

    Pires gets a little kick on the ankle, he seems okay though.

  • 2'

    Villarreal will be hoping to get off to a good start in this competiton and prove their credentials after finishing second in La Liga, ten points clear of Barcelona.


    It's going to be Manchester United to kick-off, Rooney taking the first touch.


    It's going to be a big night for Johnny Evans, stepping up to the first team. How strange that Wes Brown was not moved across into the centre.


    Villarreal: Diego Lopez, Angel, Rodriguez, Godin, Capdevila, Cani, Eguren, Edmilson, Pires, Fernandez, Franco. Subs: Viera, Santi Cazorla, Ibagaza, Llorente, Javi Venta, Senna, Fuentes.


    Man Utd: Van der Sar, Neville, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Nani, Hargreaves, Fletcher, Park, Rooney, Tevez. Subs: Foster, Brown, Ronaldo, Anderson, Giggs, Vidic, O'Shea.


    Gary Neville makes his 100th Champions League appearance at right-back while Villarreal have a familiar face in former Arsenal winger Robert Pires in their line-up. However, Marcus Senna, one of the stars of Spain's Euro 2008 triumph, is a substitute.


    Sir Alex Ferguson springs a surprise by playing 20-year-old Jonny Evans in place of Nemanja Vidic - no doubt looking ahead to the clash at Chelsea on Sunday when the Serbian central defender is suspended.


    Cristiano Ronaldo is named on the bench as Manchester United began the defence of their Champions League crown at home to Villarreal. The Portuguese winger's return to the squad for the first time this season arrived in the nick of time as new signing Dimitar Berbatov missed out after sustaining a knee injury.


    Join us at 1945 BST to see if Man Utd can hold off the threat of Villarreal, with or without Ronaldo.